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Title: Poems of The Third Period

Author: Frederich Schiller

Release Date: October 26, 2006 [EBook #6796]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK POEMS OF THE THIRD PERIOD ***




Produced by Tapio Riikonen and David Widger





              SCHILLER'S POEMS

           By Frederich Schiller




  CONTENTS:

     The Meeting
     The Secret
     The Assignation
     Longing
     Evening (After a Picture)
     The Pilgrim
     The Ideals
     The Youth by the Brook
     To Emma
     The Favor of the Moment
     The Lay of the Mountain
     The Alpine Hunter
     Dithyramb
     The Four Ages of the World
     The Maiden's Lament
     To My Friends
     Punch Song
     Nadowessian Death Lament
     The Feast of Victory
     Punch Song
     The Complaint of Ceres
     The Eleusinian Festival
     The Ring of Polycrates
     The Cranes of Ibycus (A Ballad)
     The Playing Infant
     Hero and Leander (A Ballad)
     Cassandra
     The Hostage (A Ballad)
     Greekism
     The Diver (A Ballad)
     The Fight with the Dragon
     Female Judgment
     Fridolin; or, the Walk to the Iron Foundry
     The Genius with the Inverted Torch
     The Count of Hapsburg (A Ballad)
     The Forum of Women
     The Glove (A Tale)
     The Circle of Nature
     The Veiled Statue at Sais
     The Division of the Earth
     The Fairest Apparition
     The Ideal and the Actual Life
     Germany and her Princes
     Dangerous Consequences
     The Maiden from Afar
     The Honorable
     Parables and Riddles
     The Virtue of Woman
     The Walk
     The Lay of the Bell
     The Power of Song
     To Proselytizers
     Honor to Woman
     Hope
     The German Art
     Odysseus
     Carthage
     The Sower
     The Knights of St. John
     The Merchant
     German Faith
     The Sexes
     Love and Desire
     The Bards of Olden Time
     Jove to Hercules
     The Antiques of Paris
     Thekla (A Spirit Voice)
     The Antique to the Northern Wanderer
     The Iliad
     Pompeii and Herculaneum
     Naenia
     The Maid of Orleans
     Archimedes
     The Dance
     The Fortune-Favored
     Bookseller's Announcement
     Genius
     Honors
     The Philosophical Egotist
     The Best State Constitution
     The Words of Belief
     The Words of Error
     The Power of Woman
     The Two Paths of Virtue
     The Proverbs of Confucius
     Human Knowledge
     Columbus
     Light and Warmth
     Breadth and Depth
     The Two Guides of Life
     The Immutable

     VOTIVE TABLETS
        Different Destinies
        The Animating Principle
        Two Descriptions of Action
        Difference of Station
        Worth and the Worthy
        The Moral Force
        Participation
        To----
        The Present Generation
        To the Muse
        The Learned Workman
        The Duty of All
        A Problem
        The Peculiar Ideal
        To Mystics
        The Key
        The Observer
        Wisdom and Prudence
        The Agreement
        Political Precept
        Majestas Populi
        The Difficult Union
        To a World-Reformer
        My Antipathy
        Astronomical Writings
        The Best State
        To Astronomers
        My Faith
        Inside and Outside
        Friend and Foe
        Light and Color
        Genius
        Beauteous Individuality
        Variety
        The imitator
        Geniality
        The Inquirers
        Correctness
        The Three Ages of Nature
        The Law of Nature
        Choice
        Science of Music
        To the Poet
        Language
        The Master
        The Girdle
        The Dilettante
        The Babbler of Art
        The Philosophies
        The Favor of the Muses
        Homer's Head as a Seal

     Goodness and Greatness
     The Impulses
     Naturalists and Transcendental Philosophers
     German Genius
     Theophania

     TRIFLES
        The Epic Hexameter
        The Distich
        The Eight-line Stanza
        The Obelisk
        The Triumphal Arch
        The Beautiful Bridge
        The Gate
        St. Peter's

     The Philosophers
     The Homerides
     G. G.
     The Moral Poet
     The Danaides
     The Sublime Subject
     The Artifice
     Immortality
     Jeremiads
     Shakespeare's Ghost
     The Rivers
     Zenith and Nadir
     Kant and his Commentators
     The Philosophers
     The Metaphysician
     Pegasus in harness
     Knowledge
     The Poetry of Life
     To Goethe
     The Present
     Departure from Life
     Verses written in the Album of a Learned Friend
     Verses written in the Album of a Friend
     The Sunday Children
     The Highest
     The Puppet-show of Life
     To Lawgivers
     False Impulse to Study
     To the Prince of Weimar
     The Ideal of Woman (To Amanda)
     The Fountain of Second Youth
     William Tell
     To a Young Friend Devoting Himself to Philosophy
     Expectation and Fulfilment
     The Common Fate
     Human Action
     Nuptial Ode
     The Commencement of the New Century
     Grecian Genius
     The Father
     The Connecting Medium
     The Moment
     German Comedy
     Farewell to the Reader

     Dedications to Death
     Preface





   POEMS OF THE THIRD PERIOD.


          THE MEETING.

   I see her still--by her fair train surrounded,
    The fairest of them all, she took her place;
   Afar I stood, by her bright charms confounded,
    For, oh! they dazzled with their heavenly grace.
   With awe my soul was filled--with bliss unbounded,
    While gazing on her softly radiant face;
   But soon, as if up-borne on wings of fire,
   My fingers 'gan to sweep the sounding lyre.

   The thoughts that rushed across me in that hour,
    The words I sang, I'd fain once more invoke;
   Within, I felt a new-awakened power,
    That each emotion of my bosom spoke.
   My soul, long time enchained in sloth's dull bower,
    Through all its fetters now triumphant broke,
   And brought to light unknown, harmonious numbers,
   Which in its deepest depths, had lived in slumbers.

   And when the chords had ceased their gentle sighing,
    And when my soul rejoined its mortal frame,
   I looked upon her face and saw love vieing,
    In every feature, with her maiden shame.
   And soon my ravished heart seemed heavenward flying,
    When her soft whisper o'er my senses came.
   The blissful seraphs' choral strains alone
   Can glad mine ear again with that sweet tone,

   Of that fond heart, which, pining silently,
    Ne'er ventures to express its feelings lowly,
   The real and modest worth is known to me--
    'Gainst cruel fate I'll guard its cause so holy.
   Most blest of all, the meek one's lot shall be--
    Love's flowers by love's own hand are gathered solely--
   The fairest prize to that fond heart is due,
   That feels it, and that beats responsive, too!




          THE SECRET.

   She sought to breathe one word, but vainly;
    Too many listeners were nigh;
   And yet my timid glance read plainly
    The language of her speaking eye.
   Thy silent glades my footstep presses,
    Thou fair and leaf-embosomed grove!
   Conceal within thy green recesses
    From mortal eye our sacred love!

   Afar with strange discordant noises,
    The busy day is echoing;
   And 'mid the hollow hum of voices,
    I hear the heavy hammer ring.
   'Tis thus that man, with toil ne'er ending
    Extorts from heaven his daily bread;
   Yet oft unseen the Gods are sending
    The gifts of fortune on his head!

   Oh, let mankind discover never
    How true love fills with bliss our hearts
   They would but crush our joy forever,
    For joy to them no glow imparts.
   Thou ne'er wilt from the world obtain it--
    'Tis never captured save as prey;
   Thou needs must strain each nerve to gain it,
    E'er envy dark asserts her sway.

   The hours of night and stillness loving,
    It comes upon us silently--
   Away with hasty footstep moving
    Soon as it sees a treacherous eye.
   Thou gentle stream, soft circlets weaving,
    A watery barrier cast around,
   And, with thy waves in anger heaving,
    Guard from each foe this holy ground!




        THE ASSIGNATION. [14]

   Hear I the creaking gate unclose?
    The gleaming latch uplifted?
   No--'twas the wind that, whirring, rose,
    Amidst the poplars drifted!
   Adorn thyself, thou green leaf-bowering roof,
    Destined the bright one's presence to receive,
   For her, a shadowy palace-hall aloof
    With holy night, thy boughs familiar weave.
   And ye sweet flatteries of the delicate air,
    Awake and sport her rosy cheek around,
   When their light weight the tender feet shall bear,
    When beauty comes to passion's trysting-ground.

   Hush! what amidst the copses crept--
    So swiftly by me now?
   No-'twas the startled bird that swept
    The light leaves of the bough!
   Day, quench thy torch! come, ghostlike, from on high,
    With thy loved silence, come, thou haunting Eve,
   Broaden below thy web of purple dye,
    Which lulled boughs mysterious round us weave.
   For love's delight, enduring listeners none,
    The froward witness of the light will flee;
   Hesper alone, the rosy silent one,
    Down-glancing may our sweet familiar be!

   What murmur in the distance spoke,
    And like a whisper died?
   No--'twas the swan that gently broke
    In rings the silver tide!
   Soft to my ear there comes a music-flow;
    In gleesome murmur glides the waterfall;
   To zephyr's kiss the flowers are bending low;
    Through life goes joy, exchanging joy with all.
   Tempt to the touch the grapes--the blushing fruit, [15]
    Voluptuous swelling from the leaves that bide;
   And, drinking fever from my cheek, the mute
    Air sleeps all liquid in the odor-tide!

   Hark! through the alley hear I now
    A footfall? Comes the maiden?
   No,--'twas the fruit slid from the bough,
    With its own richness laden!

   Day's lustrous eyes grow heavy in sweet death,
    And pale and paler wane his jocund hues,
   The flowers too gentle for his glowing breath,
    Ope their frank beauty to the twilight dews.
   The bright face of the moon is still and lone,
    Melts in vast masses the world silently;
   Slides from each charm the slowly-loosening zone;
    And round all beauty, veilless, roves the eye.

   What yonder seems to glimmer?
    Her white robe's glancing hues?
   No,--'twas the column's shimmer
    Athwart the darksome yews!

   O, longing heart, no more delight-upbuoyed
    Let the sweet airy image thee befool!
   The arms that would embrace her clasp the void
    This feverish breast no phantom-bliss can cool,
   O, waft her here, the true, the living one!
    Let but my hand her hand, the tender, feel--
   The very shadow of her robe alone!--
    So into life the idle dream shall steal!

   As glide from heaven, when least we ween,
   The rosy hours of bliss,
   All gently came the maid, unseen:--
   He waked beneath her kiss!




        LONGING.

   Could I from this valley drear,
    Where the mist hangs heavily,
   Soar to some more blissful sphere,
    Ah! how happy should I be!
   Distant hills enchant my sight,
    Ever young and ever fair;
   To those hills I'd take my flight
    Had I wings to scale the air.

   Harmonies mine ear assail,
    Tunes that breathe a heavenly calm;
   And the gently-sighing gale
    Greets me with its fragrant balm.
   Peeping through the shady bowers,
    Golden fruits their charms display.
   And those sweetly-blooming flowers
    Ne'er become cold winter's prey.

   In you endless sunshine bright,
    Oh! what bliss 'twould be to dwell!
   How the breeze on yonder height
    Must the heart with rapture swell!
   Yet the stream that hems my path
    Checks me with its angry frown,
   While its waves, in rising wrath,
    Weigh my weary spirit down.

   See--a bark is drawing near,
    But, alas, the pilot fails!
   Enter boldly--wherefore fear?
    Inspiration fills its sails,
   Faith and courage make thine own,--
    Gods ne'er lend a helping-hand;
   'Tis by magic power alone
    Thou canst reach the magic land!




          EVENING.

        (AFTER A PICTURE.)

   Oh! thou bright-beaming god, the plains are thirsting,
   Thirsting for freshening dew, and man is pining;
        Wearily move on thy horses--
        Let, then, thy chariot descend!

   Seest thou her who, from ocean's crystal billows,
   Lovingly nods and smiles?--Thy heart must know her!
        Joyously speed on thy horses,--
        Tethys, the goddess, 'tis nods!

   Swiftly from out his flaming chariot leaping,
   Into her arms he springs,--the reins takes Cupid,--
        Quietly stand the horses,
        Drinking the cooling flood.

   Now from the heavens with gentle step descending,
   Balmy night appears, by sweet love followed;
        Mortals, rest ye, and love ye,--
        Phoebus, the loving one, rests!




        THE PILGRIM.

   Youth's gay springtime scarcely knowing
    Went I forth the world to roam--
   And the dance of youth, the glowing,
    Left I in my father's home,
   Of my birthright, glad-believing,
    Of my world-gear took I none,
   Careless as an infant, cleaving
    To my pilgrim staff alone.
   For I placed my mighty hope in
    Dim and holy words of faith,
   "Wander forth--the way is open,
    Ever on the upward path--
   Till thou gain the golden portal,
    Till its gates unclose to thee.
   There the earthly and the mortal,
    Deathless and divine shall be!"
   Night on morning stole, on stealeth,
    Never, never stand I still,
   And the future yet concealeth,
    What I seek, and what I will!
   Mount on mount arose before me,
    Torrents hemmed me every side,
   But I built a bridge that bore me
    O'er the roaring tempest-tide.
   Towards the east I reached a river,
    On its shores I did not rest;
   Faith from danger can deliver,
    And I trusted to its breast.
   Drifted in the whirling motion,
    Seas themselves around me roll--
   Wide and wider spreads the ocean,
    Far and farther flies the goal.
   While I live is never given
    Bridge or wave the goal to near--
   Earth will never meet the heaven,
    Never can the there be here!




         THE IDEALS.

   And wilt thou, faithless one, then, leave me,
    With all thy magic phantasy,--
   With all the thoughts that joy or grieve me,
    Wilt thou with all forever fly?
   Can naught delay thine onward motion,
    Thou golden time of life's young dream?
   In vain! eternity's wide ocean
    Ceaselessly drowns thy rolling stream.

   The glorious suns my youth enchanting
    Have set in never-ending night;
   Those blest ideals now are wanting
    That swelled my heart with mad delight.
   The offspring of my dream hath perished,
    My faith in being passed away;
   The godlike hopes that once I cherish
    Are now reality's sad prey.

   As once Pygmalion, fondly yearning,
    Embraced the statue formed by him,
   Till the cold marble's cheeks were burning,
    And life diffused through every limb,
   So I, with youthful passion fired,
    My longing arms round Nature threw,
   Till, clinging to my breast inspired,
    She 'gan to breathe, to kindle too.

   And all my fiery ardor proving,
    Though mute, her tale she soon could tell,
   Returned each kiss I gave her loving,
    The throbbings of my heart read well.
   Then living seemed each tree, each flower,
    Then sweetly sang the waterfall,
   And e'en the soulless in that hour
    Shared in the heavenly bliss of all.

   For then a circling world was bursting
    My bosom's narrow prison-cell,
   To enter into being thirsting,
    In deed, word, shape, and sound as well.
   This world, how wondrous great I deemed it,
    Ere yet its blossoms could unfold!
   When open, oh, how little seemed it!
    That little, oh, how mean and cold!

   How happy, winged by courage daring,
    The youth life's mazy path first pressed--
   No care his manly strength impairing,
    And in his dream's sweet vision blest!
   The dimmest star in air's dominion
    Seemed not too distant for his flight;
   His young and ever-eager pinion
    Soared far beyond all mortal sight.

   Thus joyously toward heaven ascending,
    Was aught for his bright hopes too far?
   The airy guides his steps attending,
    How danced they round life's radiant car!
   Soft love was there, her guerdon bearing,
    And fortune, with her crown of gold,
   And fame, her starry chaplet wearing,
    And truth, in majesty untold.

   But while the goal was yet before them,
    The faithless guides began to stray;
   Impatience of their task came o'er them,
    Then one by one they dropped away.
   Light-footed Fortune first retreating,
    Then Wisdom's thirst remained unstilled,
   While heavy storms of doubt were beating
    Upon the path truth's radiance filled.

   I saw Fame's sacred wreath adorning
    The brows of an unworthy crew;
   And, ah! how soon Love's happy morning,
    When spring had vanished, vanished too!
   More silent yet, and yet more weary,
    Became the desert path I trod;
   And even hope a glimmer dreary
    Scarce cast upon the gloomy road.

   Of all that train, so bright with gladness,
    Oh, who is faithful to the end?
   Who now will seek to cheer my sadness,
    And to the grave my steps attend?
   Thou, Friendship, of all guides the fairest,
    Who gently healest every wound;
   Who all life's heavy burdens sharest,
    Thou, whom I early sought and found!

   Employment too, thy loving neighbor,
    Who quells the bosom's rising storms;
   Who ne'er grows weary of her labor,
    And ne'er destroys, though slow she forms;
   Who, though but grains of sand she places
    To swell eternity sublime,
   Yet minutes, days, ay! years effaces
    From the dread reckoning kept by Time!




     THE YOUTH BY THE BROOK. [16]

   Beside the brook the boy reclined
    And wove his flowery wreath,
   And to the waves the wreath consigned--
    The waves that danced beneath.
   "So fleet mine hours," he sighed, "away
    Like waves that restless flow:
   And so my flowers of youth decay
    Like those that float below."

   "Ask not why I, alone on earth,
    Am sad in life's young time;
   To all the rest are hope and mirth
    When spring renews its prime.
   Alas! the music Nature makes,
    In thousand songs of gladness--
   While charming all around me, wakes
    My heavy heart to sadness."

   "Ah! vain to me the joys that break
    From spring, voluptuous are;
   For only one 't is mine to seek--
    The near, yet ever far!
   I stretch my arms, that shadow-shape
    In fond embrace to hold;
   Still doth the shade the clasp escape--
    The heart is unconsoled!"

   "Come forth, fair friend, come forth below,
    And leave thy lofty hall,
   The fairest flowers the spring can know
    In thy dear lap shall fall!
   Clear glides the brook in silver rolled,
    Sweet carols fill the air;
   The meanest hut hath space to hold
    A happy loving pair!"




        TO EMMA.

   Far away, where darkness reigneth,
    All my dreams of bliss are flown;
   Yet with love my gaze remaineth
    Fixed on one fair star alone.
   But, alas! that star so bright
   Sheds no lustre save by night.

   If in slumbers ending never,
    Gloomy death had sealed thine eyes,
   Thou hadst lived in memory ever--
    Thou hadst lived still in my sighs;
   But, alas! in light thou livest--
   To my love no answer givest!

   Can the sweet hopes love once cherished
    Emma, can they transient prove?
   What has passed away and perished--
    Emma, say, can that be love?
   That bright flame of heavenly birth--
    Can it die like things of earth?



   THE FAVOR OF THE MOMENT.

   Once more, then, we meet
    In the circles of yore;
   Let our song be as sweet
    In its wreaths as before,
   Who claims the first place
    In the tribute of song?
   The God to whose grace
    All our pleasures belong.
   Though Ceres may spread
    All her gifts on the shrine,
   Though the glass may be red
    With the blush of the vine,
   What boots--if the while
    Fall no spark on the hearth;
   If the heart do not smile
    With the instinct of mirth?--
   From the clouds, from God's breast
    Must our happiness fall,
   'Mid the blessed, most blest
    Is the moment of all!
   Since creation began
    All that mortals have wrought,
   All that's godlike in man
    Comes--the flash of a thought!
   For ages the stone
    In the quarry may lurk,
   An instant alone
    Can suffice to the work;
   An impulse give birth
    To the child of the soul,
   A glance stamp the worth
    And the fame of the whole. [17]
   On the arch that she buildeth
    From sunbeams on high,
   As Iris just gildeth,
    And fleets from the sky,
   So shineth, so gloometh
    Each gift that is ours;
   The lightning illumeth--
    The darkness devours! [18]




        THE LAY OF THE MOUNTAIN.

   [The scenery of Gotthardt is here personified.]

   To the solemn abyss leads the terrible path,
    The life and death winding dizzy between;
   In thy desolate way, grim with menace and wrath,
    To daunt thee the spectres of giants are seen;
   That thou wake not the wild one [20], all silently tread--
   Let thy lip breathe no breath in the pathway of dread!

   High over the marge of the horrible deep
    Hangs and hovers a bridge with its phantom-like span, [21]
   Not by man was it built, o'er the vastness to sweep;
    Such thought never came to the daring of man!
   The stream roars beneath--late and early it raves--
   But the bridge, which it threatens, is safe from the waves.

   Black-yawning a portal, thy soul to affright,
    Like the gate to the kingdom, the fiend for the king--
   Yet beyond it there smiles but a land of delight,
    Where the autumn in marriage is met with the spring.
   From a lot which the care and the trouble assail,
   Could I fly to the bliss of that balm-breathing vale!

   Through that field, from a fount ever hidden their birth,
    Four rivers in tumult rush roaringly forth;
   They fly to the fourfold divisions of earth--
    The sunrise, the sunset, the south, and the north.
   And, true to the mystical mother that bore,
   Forth they rush to their goal, and are lost evermore.

   High over the races of men in the blue
    Of the ether, the mount in twin summits is riven;
   There, veiled in the gold-woven webs of the dew,
    Moves the dance of the clouds--the pale daughters of heaven!
   There, in solitude, circles their mystical maze,
   Where no witness can hearken, no earthborn surveys.

   August on a throne which no ages can move,
    Sits a queen, in her beauty serene and sublime, [22]
   The diadem blazing with diamonds above
    The glory of brows, never darkened by time,
   His arrows of light on that form shoots the sun--
   And he gilds them with all, but he warms them with none!




      THE ALPINE HUNTER.

   Wilt thou not the lambkins guard?
    Oh, how soft and meek they look,
   Feeding on the grassy sward,
    Sporting round the silvery brook!
   "Mother, mother, let me go
   On yon heights to chase the roe!"

   Wilt thou not the flock compel
    With the horn's inspiring notes?
   Sweet the echo of yon bell,
    As across the wood it floats!
   "Mother, mother, let me go
   On yon heights to hunt the roe!"

   Wilt thou not the flow'rets bind,
    Smiling gently in their bed?
   For no garden thou wilt find
    On yon heights so wild and dread.
   "Leave the flow'rets,--let them blow!
   Mother, mother, let me go!"

   And the youth then sought the chase,
    Onward pressed with headlong speed
   To the mountain's gloomiest place,--
    Naught his progress could impede;
   And before him, like the wind,
   Swiftly flies the trembling hind!

   Up the naked precipice
    Clambers she, with footsteps light,
   O'er the chasm's dark abyss
    Leaps with spring of daring might;
   But behind, unweariedly,
   With his death-bow follows he.

   Now upon the rugged top
    Stands she,--on the loftiest height,
   Where the cliffs abruptly stop,
    And the path is lost to sight.
   There she views the steeps below,--
   Close behind, her mortal foe.

   She, with silent, woeful gaze,
    Seeks the cruel boy to move;
   But, alas! in vain she prays--
    To the string he fits the groove.
   When from out the clefts, behold!
   Steps the Mountain Genius old.

   With his hand the Deity
   Shields the beast that trembling sighs;
   "Must thou, even up to me,
   Death and anguish send?" he cries,--
   Earth has room for all to dwell,--
   "Why pursue my loved gazelle?"




        DITHYRAMB. [23]

      Believe me, together
      The bright gods come ever,
        Still as of old;
   Scarce see I Bacchus, the giver of joy,
   Than comes up fair Eros, the laugh-loving boy,
        And Phoebus, the stately, behold!

      They come near and nearer,
       The heavenly ones all--
      The gods with their presence
       Fill earth as their hall!

      Say, how shall I welcome,
      Human and earthborn,
        Sons of the sky?
   Pour out to me--pour the full life that ye live!
   What to ye, O ye gods! can the mortal one give?

      The joys can dwell only
       In Jupiter's palace--
      Brimmed bright with your nectar,
       Oh, reach me the chalice!

      "Hebe, the chalice
      Fill full to the brim!
   Steep his eyes--steep his eyes in the bath of the dew,
   Let him dream, while the Styx is concealed from his view,
      That the life of the gods is for him!"

      It murmurs, it sparkles,
       The fount of delight;
      The bosom grows tranquil--
       The eye becomes bright.




        THE FOUR AGES OF THE WORLD.

   The goblet is sparkling with purpled-tinged wine,
    Bright glistens the eye of each guest,
   When into the hall comes the Minstrel divine,
    To the good he now brings what is best;
   For when from Elysium is absent the lyre,
   No joy can the banquet of nectar inspire.

   He is blessed by the gods, with an intellect clear,
    That mirrors the world as it glides;
   He has seen all that ever has taken place here,
    And all that the future still hides.
   He sat in the god's secret councils of old
   And heard the command for each thing to unfold.

   He opens in splendor, with gladness and mirth,
    That life which was hid from our eyes;
   Adorns as a temple the dwelling of earth,
    That the Muse has bestowed as his prize,
   No roof is so humble, no hut is so low,
   But he with divinities bids it o'erflow.

   And as the inventive descendant of Zeus,
    On the unadorned round of the shield,
   With knowledge divine could, reflected, produce
    Earth, sea, and the star's shining field,--
   So he, on the moments, as onward they roll,
   The image can stamp of the infinite whole.

   From the earliest age of the world he has come,
    When nations rejoiced in their prime;
   A wanderer glad, he has still found a home
    With every race through all time.
   Four ages of man in his lifetime have died,
   And the place they once held by the fifth is supplied.

   Saturnus first governed, with fatherly smile,
    Each day then resembled the last;
   Then flourished the shepherds, a race without guile
    Their bliss by no care was o'ercast,
   They loved,--and no other employment they had,
   And earth gave her treasures with willingness glad.

   Then labor came next, and the conflict began
    With monsters and beasts famed in song;
   And heroes upstarted, as rulers of man,
    And the weak sought the aid of the strong.
   And strife o'er the field of Scamander now reigned,
   But beauty the god of the world still remained.

   At length from the conflict bright victory sprang,
    And gentleness blossomed from might;
   In heavenly chorus the Muses then sang,
    And figures divine saw the light;--
   The age that acknowledged sweet phantasy's sway
   Can never return, it has fleeted away.

   The gods from their seats in the heavens were hurled,
    And their pillars of glory o'erthrown;
   And the Son of the Virgin appeared in the world
    For the sins of mankind to atone.
   The fugitive lusts of the sense were suppressed,
   And man now first grappled with thought in his breast.

   Each vain and voluptuous charm vanished now,
    Wherein the young world took delight;
   The monk and the nun made of penance a vow,
    And the tourney was sought by the knight.
   Though the aspect of life was now dreary and wild,
   Yet love remained ever both lovely and mild.

   An altar of holiness, free from all stain,
    The Muses in silence upreared;
   And all that was noble and worthy, again
    In woman's chaste bosom appeared;
   The bright flame of song was soon kindled anew
   By the minstrel's soft lays, and his love pure and true.

   And so, in a gentle and ne'er-changing band,
    Let woman and minstrel unite;
   They weave and they fashion, with hand joined to hand,
    The girdle of beauty and right.
   When love blends with music, in unison sweet,
   The lustre of life's youthful days ne'er can fleet.




        THE MAIDEN'S LAMENT.

      The clouds fast gather,
       The forest-oaks roar--
      A maiden is sitting
       Beside the green shore,--
   The billows are breaking with might, with might,
   And she sighs aloud in the darkling night,
    Her eyelid heavy with weeping.

      "My heart's dead within me,
       The world is a void;
      To the wish it gives nothing,
       Each hope is destroyed.
   I have tasted the fulness of bliss below
   I have lived, I have loved,--Thy child, oh take now,
    Thou Holy One, into Thy keeping!"

      "In vain is thy sorrow,
       In vain thy tears fall,
      For the dead from their slumbers
       They ne'er can recall;
   Yet if aught can pour comfort and balm in thy heart,
   Now that love its sweet pleasures no more can impart,
    Speak thy wish, and thou granted shalt find it!"

      "Though in vain is my sorrow,
       Though in vain my tears fall,--
      Though the dead from their slumbers
       They ne'er can recall,
   Yet no balm is so sweet to the desolate heart,
   When love its soft pleasures no more can impart,
    As the torments that love leaves behind it!"




          TO MY FRIENDS.

   Yes, my friends!--that happier times have been
   Than the present, none can contravene;
    That a race once lived of nobler worth;
   And if ancient chronicles were dumb,
   Countless stones in witness forth would come
    From the deepest entrails of the earth.
   But this highly-favored race has gone,
    Gone forever to the realms of night.
   We, we live! The moments are our own,
    And the living judge the right.

   Brighter zones, my friends, no doubt excel
   This, the land wherein we're doomed to dwell,
    As the hardy travellers proclaim;
   But if Nature has denied us much,
   Art is yet responsive to our touch,
    And our hearts can kindle at her flame.
   If the laurel will not flourish here--
    If the myrtle is cold winter's prey,
   Yet the vine, to crown us, year by year,
    Still puts forth its foliage gay.

   Of a busier life 'tis well to speak,
   Where four worlds their wealth to barter seek,
    On the world's great market, Thames' broad stream;
   Ships in thousands go there and depart--
   There are seen the costliest works of art,
    And the earth-god, Mammon, reigns supreme
   But the sun his image only graves
    On the silent streamlet's level plain,
   Not upon the torrent's muddy waves,
    Swollen by the heavy rain.

   Far more blessed than we, in northern states
   Dwells the beggar at the angel-gates,
    For he sees the peerless city--Rome!
   Beauty's glorious charms around him lie,
   And, a second heaven, up toward the sky
    Mounts St. Peter's proud and wondrous dome.
   But, with all the charms that splendor grants,
    Rome is but the tomb of ages past;
   Life but smiles upon the blooming plants
    That the seasons round her cast.

   Greater actions elsewhere may be rife
   Than with us, in our contracted life--
    But beneath the sun there's naught that's new;
   Yet we see the great of every age
   Pass before us on the world's wide stage
    Thoughtfully and calmly in review
   All. in life repeats itself forever,
    Young for ay is phantasy alone;
   What has happened nowhere,--happened never,--
    That has never older grown!




        PUNCH SONG.

      Four elements, joined in
       Harmonious strife,
      Shadow the world forth,
       And typify life.

      Into the goblet
       The lemon's juice pour;
      Acid is ever
       Life's innermost core.

      Now, with the sugar's
       All-softening juice,
      The strength of the acid
       So burning reduce.

      The bright sparkling water
       Now pour in the bowl;
      Water all-gently
       Encircles the whole.

      Let drops of the spirit
       To join them now flow;
      Life to the living
       Naught else can bestow.

      Drain it off quickly
       Before it exhales;
      Save when 'tis glowing,
       The draught naught avails.




    NADOWESSIAN DEATH-LAMENT.

   See, he sitteth on his mat
    Sitteth there upright,
   With the grace with which he sat
    While he saw the light.

   Where is now the sturdy gripe,--
    Where the breath sedate,
   That so lately whiffed the pipe
    Toward the Spirit great?

   Where the bright and falcon eye,
    That the reindeer's tread
   On the waving grass could spy,
    Thick with dewdrops spread?

   Where the limbs that used to dart
    Swifter through the snow
   Than the twenty-membered hart,
    Than the mountain roe?

   Where the arm that sturdily
    Bent the deadly bow?
   See, its life hath fleeted by,--
    See, it hangeth low!

   Happy he!--He now has gone
    Where no snow is found:
   Where with maize the fields are sown,
    Self-sprung from the ground;

   Where with birds each bush is filled,
   Where with game the wood;
   Where the fish, with joy unstilled,
   Wanton in the flood.

   With the spirits blest he feeds,--
    Leaves us here in gloom;
   We can only praise his deeds,
    And his corpse entomb.

   Farewell-gifts, then, hither bring,
    Sound the death-note sad!
   Bury with him everything
    That can make him glad!

   'Neath his head the hatchet hide
    That he boldly swung;
   And the bear's fat haunch beside,
    For the road is long;

   And the knife, well sharpened,
    That, with slashes three,
   Scalp and skin from foeman's head
    Tore off skilfully.

   And to paint his body, place
    Dyes within his hand;
   Let him shine with ruddy grace
    In the Spirit-land!




     THE FEAST OF VICTORY.

   Priam's castle-walls had sunk,
    Troy in dust and ashes lay,
   And each Greek, with triumph drunk,
    Richly laden with his prey,
   Sat upon his ship's high prow,
    On the Hellespontic strand,
   Starting on his journey now,
    Bound for Greece, his own fair land.
   Raise the glad exulting shout!
    Toward the land that gave them birth
   Turn they now the ships about,
    As they seek their native earth.

   And in rows, all mournfully,
    Sat the Trojan women there,--
   Beat their breasts in agony,
    Pallid, with dishevelled hair.
   In the feast of joy so glad
    Mingled they the song of woe,
   Weeping o'er their fortunes sad,
    In their country's overthrow.
   "Land beloved, oh, fare thee well!
    By our foreign masters led,
   Far from home we're doomed to dwell,--
    Ah, how happy are the dead!"

   Soon the blood by Calchas spilt
    On the altar heavenward smokes;
   Pallas, by whom towns are built
    And destroyed, the priest invokes;
   Neptune, too, who all the earth
    With his billowy girdle laves,--
   Zeus, who gives to terror birth,
    Who the dreaded Aegis waves.
   Now the weary fight is done,
    Ne'er again to be renewed;
   Time's wide circuit now is run,
    And the mighty town subdued!

   Atreus' son, the army's head,
    Told the people's numbers o'er,
   Whom he, as their captain, led
    To Scamander's vale of yore.
   Sorrow's black and heavy clouds
    Passed across the monarch's brow:
   Of those vast and valiant crowds,
    Oh, how few were left him now!
   Joyful songs let each one raise,
    Who will see his home again,
   In whose veins the life-blood plays,
    For, alas! not all remain!

   "All who homeward wend their way,
    Will not there find peace of mind;
   On their household altars, they
    Murder foul perchance may find.
   Many fall by false friend's stroke,
    Who in fight immortal proved:"--
   So Ulysses warning spoke,
    By Athene's spirit moved.
   Happy he, whose faithful spouse
    Guards his home with honor true!
   Woman ofttimes breaks her vows,
    Ever loves she what is new.

   And Atrides glories there
    In the prize he won in fight,
   And around her body fair
    Twines his arms with fond delight.
   Evil works must punished be.
    Vengeance follows after crime,
   For Kronion's just decree
    Rules the heavenly courts sublime.
   Evil must in evil end;
    Zeus will on the impious band
   Woe for broken guest-rights send,
    Weighing with impartial hand.

   "It may well the glad befit,"
    Cried Olleus' valiant son, [24]
   "To extol the Gods who sit
    On Olympus' lofty throne!
   Fortune all her gifts supplies,
    Blindly, and no justice knows,
   For Patroclus buried lies,
    And Thersites homeward goes!
   Since she blindly throws away
    Each lot in her wheel contained,
   Let him shout with joy to-day
    Who the prize of life has gained."

   "Ay, the wars the best devour!
    Brother, we will think of thee,
   In the fight a very tower,
    When we join in revelry!
   When the Grecian ships were fired,
    By thine arm was safety brought;
   Yet the man by craft inspired [25]
    Won the spoils thy valor sought.
   Peace be to thine ashes blest!
    Thou wert vanquished not in fight:
   Anger 'tis destroys the best,--
    Ajax fell by Ajax' might!"

   Neoptolemus poured then,
    To his sire renowned [26] the wine--
   "'Mongst the lots of earthly men,
    Mighty father, prize I thine!
   Of the goods that life supplies,
    Greatest far of all is fame;
   Though to dust the body flies,
    Yet still lives a noble name.
   Valiant one, thy glory's ray
    Will immortal be in song;
   For, though life may pass away,
    To all time the dead belong!"

   "Since the voice of minstrelsy
    Speaks not of the vanquished man,
   I will Hector's witness be,"--
    Tydeus' noble son [27] began:
   "Fighting bravely in defence
    Of his household-gods he fell.
   Great the victor's glory thence,
    He in purpose did excel!
   Battling for his altars dear,
    Sank that rock, no more to rise;
   E'en the foemen will revere
    One whose honored name ne'er dies."

   Nestor, joyous reveller old,
    Who three generations saw,
   Now the leaf-crowned cup of gold
    Gave to weeping Hecuba.
   "Drain the goblet's draught so cool,
    And forget each painful smart!
   Bacchus' gifts are wonderful,--
    Balsam for a broken heart.
   Drain the goblet's draught so cool,
    And forget each painful smart!
   Bacchus' gifts are wonderful,--
    Balsam for a broken heart.

   "E'en to Niobe, whom Heaven
    Loved in wrath to persecute,
   Respite from her pangs was given,
    Tasting of the corn's ripe fruit.
   Whilst the thirsty lip we lave
    In the foaming, living spring,
   Buried deep in Lethe's wave
    Lies all grief, all sorrowing!
   Whilst the thirsty lip we lave
    In the foaming, living spring,
   Swallowed up in Lethe's wave
    Is all grief, all sorrowing!"

   And the Prophetess [28] inspired
    By her God, upstarted now,--
   Toward the smoke of homesteads fired,
    Looking from the lofty prow.
   "Smoke is each thing here below;
    Every worldly greatness dies,
   As the vapory columns go,--
    None are fixed but Deities!
   Cares behind the horseman sit--
    Round about the vessel play;
   Lest the morrow hinder it,
    Let us, therefore, live to-day."




        PUNCH SONG.

   (TO BE SUNG IN NORTHERN COUNTRIES.)

   On the mountain's breezy summit,
    Where the southern sunbeams shine,
   Aided by their warming vigor,
    Nature yields the golden wine.

   How the wondrous mother formeth,
    None have ever read aright;
   Hid forever is her working,
    And inscrutable her might.

   Sparkling as a son of Phoebus,
    As the fiery source of light,
   From the vat it bubbling springeth,
    Purple, and as crystal bright;

   And rejoiceth all the senses,
    And in every sorrowing breast
   Poureth hope's refreshing balsam,
    And on life bestows new zest.

   But their slanting rays all feebly
    On our zone the sunbeams shoot;
   They can only tinge the foliage,
    But they ripen ne'er the fruit.

   Yet the north insists on living,
    And what lives will merry be;
   So, although the grape is wanting,
    We invent wine cleverly.

   Pale the drink we now are offering
    On the household altar here;
   But what living Nature maketh,
    Sparkling is and ever clear.

   Let us from the brimming goblet,
    Drain the troubled flood with mirth;
   Art is but a gift of heaven,
    Borrowed from the glow of earth.

   Even strength's dominions boundless
    'Neath her rule obedient lie;
   From the old the new she fashions
    With creative energy.

   She the elements' close union
    Severs with her sovereign nod;
   With the flame upon the altar,
    Emulates the great sun-god.

   For the distant, happy islands
    Now the vessel sallies forth,
   And the southern fruits, all-golden,
    Pours upon the eager north.

   As a type, then,--as an image,
    Be to us this fiery juice,
   Of the wonders that frail mortals
    Can with steadfast will produce!




     THE COMPLAINT OF CERES. [29]

   Does pleasant spring return once more?
    Does earth her happy youth regain?
   Sweet suns green hills are shining o'er;
    Soft brooklets burst their icy chain:
   Upon the blue translucent river
    Laughs down an all-unclouded day,
   The winged west winds gently quiver,
    The buds are bursting from the spray;
   While birds are blithe on every tree;
    The Oread from the mountain-shore
   Sighs, "Lo! thy flowers come back to thee--
    Thy child, sad mother, comes no more!"

   Alas! how long an age it seems
    Since all the earth I wandered over,
   And vainly, Titan, tasked thy beams
    The loved--the lost one--to discover!
   Though all may seek--yet none can call
    Her tender presence back to me
   The sun, with eyes detecting all,
    Is blind one vanished form to see.
   Hast thou, O Zeus! hast thou away
    From these sad arms my daughter torn?
   Has Pluto, from the realms of day,
    Enamored--to dark rivers borne?

   Who to the dismal phantom-strand
    The herald of my grief will venture?
   The boat forever leaves the land,
    But only shadows there may enter.--
   Veiled from each holier eye repose
    The realms where midnight wraps the dead,
   And, while the Stygian river flows,
    No living footstep there may tread!
   A thousand pathways wind the drear
    Descent;--none upward lead to-day;--
   No witness to the mother's ear
    The daughter's sorrows can betray.

   Mothers of happy human clay
    Can share at least their children's doom;
   And when the loved ones pass away,
    Can track--can join them--in the tomb!
   The race alone of heavenly birth
    Are banished from the darksome portals;
   The Fates have mercy on the earth,
    And death is only kind to mortals! [30]
   Oh, plunge me in the night of nights,
    From heaven's ambrosial halls exiled!
   Oh, let the goddess lose the rights
    That shut the mother from the child!

   Where sits the dark king's joyless bride,
    Where midst the dead her home is made;
   Oh that my noiseless steps might glide,
    Amidst the shades, myself a shade!
   I see her eyes, that search through tears,
    In vain the golden light to greet;
   That yearn for yonder distant spheres,
    That pine the mother's face to meet!
   Till some bright moment shall renew
    The severed hearts' familiar ties;
   And softened pity steal in dew,
    From Pluto's slow-relenting eyes!

   Ah, vain the wish, the sorrows are!
    Calm in the changeless paths above
   Rolls on the day-god's golden car--
    Fast are the fixed decrees of Jove!
   Far from the ever-gloomy plain,
    He turns his blissful looks away.
   Alas! night never gives again
    What once it seizes as its prey!
   Till over Lethe's sullen swell,
    Aurora's rosy hues shall glow;
   And arching through the midmost hell
    Shine forth the lovely Iris-bow!

   And is there naught of her; no token--
    No pledge from that beloved hand?
   To tell how love remains unbroken,
    How far soever be the land?
   Has love no link, no lightest thread,
    The mother to the child to bind?
   Between the living and the dead,
    Can hope no holy compact find?
   No! every bond is not yet riven;
    We are not yet divided wholly;
   To us the eternal powers have given
    A symbol language, sweet and holy.

   When Spring's fair children pass away,
    When, in the north wind's icy air,
   The leaf and flower alike decay,
    And leave the rivelled branches bare,
   Then from Vertumnus' lavish horn
    I take life's seeds to strew below--
   And bid the gold that germs the corn
    An offering to the Styx to go!
   Sad in the earth the seeds I lay--
    Laid at thy heart, my child--to be
   The mournful tokens which convey
    My sorrow and my love to thee!

   But, when the hours, in measured dance,
    The happy smile of spring restore,
   Rife in the sun-god's golden glance
    The buried dead revive once more!
   The germs that perished to thine eyes,
    Within the cold breast of the earth,
   Spring up to bloom in gentler skies,
    The brighter for the second birth!
   The stem its blossom rears above--
    Its roots in night's dark womb repose--
   The plant but by the equal love
    Of light and darkness fostered--grows!

   If half with death the germs may sleep,
    Yet half with life they share the beams;
   My heralds from the dreary deep,
    Soft voices from the solemn streams,--
   Like her, so them, awhile entombs,
    Stern Orcus, in his dismal reign,
   Yet spring sends forth their tender blooms
    With such sweet messages again,
   To tell,--how far from light above,
    Where only mournful shadows meet,
   Memory is still alive to love,
    And still the faithful heart can beat!

   Joy to ye children of the field!
    Whose life each coming year renews,
   To your sweet cups the heaven shall yield
    The purest of its nectar-dews!
   Steeped in the light's resplendent streams,
    The hues that streak the Iris-bow
   Shall trim your blooms as with the beams
    The looks of young Aurora know.
   The budding life of happy spring,
    The yellow autumn's faded leaf,
   Alike to gentle hearts shall bring
    The symbols of my joy and grief.




        THE ELEUSINIAN FESTIVAL.

   Wreathe in a garland the corn's golden ear!
    With it, the Cyane [31] blue intertwine
   Rapture must render each glance bright and clear,
    For the great queen is approaching her shrine,--
   She who compels lawless passions to cease,
    Who to link man with his fellow has come,
   And into firm habitations of peace
    Changed the rude tents' ever-wandering home.

   Shyly in the mountain-cleft
    Was the Troglodyte concealed;
   And the roving Nomad left,
    Desert lying, each broad field.
   With the javelin, with the bow,
    Strode the hunter through the land;
   To the hapless stranger woe,
    Billow-cast on that wild strand!

   When, in her sad wanderings lost,
    Seeking traces of her child,
   Ceres hailed the dreary coast,
    Ah, no verdant plain then smiled!
   That she here with trust may stay,
    None vouchsafes a sheltering roof;
   Not a temple's columns gay
    Give of godlike worship proof.

   Fruit of no propitious ear
    Bids her to the pure feast fly;
   On the ghastly altars here
    Human bones alone e'er dry.
   Far as she might onward rove,
    Misery found she still in all,
   And within her soul of love,
    Sorrowed she o'er man's deep fall.

   "Is it thus I find the man
    To whom we our image lend,
   Whose fair limbs of noble span
    Upward towards the heavens ascend?
   Laid we not before his feet
    Earth's unbounded godlike womb?
   Yet upon his kingly seat
    Wanders he without a home?"

   "Does no god compassion feel?
    Will none of the blissful race,
   With an arm of miracle,
    Raise him from his deep disgrace?
   In the heights where rapture reigns
    Pangs of others ne'er can move;
   Yet man's anguish and man's pains
    My tormented heart must prove."

   "So that a man a man may be,
    Let him make an endless bond
   With the kind earth trustingly,
    Who is ever good and fond
   To revere the law of time,
    And the moon's melodious song
   Who, with silent step sublime,
    Move their sacred course along."

   And she softly parts the cloud
    That conceals her from the sight;
   Sudden, in the savage crowd,
    Stands she, as a goddess bright.
   There she finds the concourse rude
    In their glad feast revelling,
   And the chalice filled with blood
    As a sacrifice they bring.

   But she turns her face away,
    Horror-struck, and speaks the while
   "Bloody tiger-feasts ne'er may
    Of a god the lips defile,
   He needs victims free from stain,
    Fruits matured by autumn's sun;
   With the pure gifts of the plain
    Honored is the Holy One!"

   And she takes the heavy shaft
    From the hunter's cruel hand;
   With the murderous weapon's haft
    Furrowing the light-strown sand,--
   Takes from out her garland's crown,
    Filled with life, one single grain,
   Sinks it in the furrow down,
    And the germ soon swells amain.

   And the green stalks gracefully
    Shoot, ere long, the ground above,
   And, as far as eye can see,
    Waves it like a golden grove.
   With her smile the earth she cheers,
    Binds the earliest sheaves so fair,
   As her hearth the landmark rears,--
    And the goddess breathes this prayer:

   "Father Zeus, who reign'st o'er all
    That in ether's mansions dwell,
   Let a sign from thee now fall
    That thou lov'st this offering well!
   And from the unhappy crowd
    That, as yet, has ne'er known thee,
   Take away the eye's dark cloud,
    Showing them their deity!"

   Zeus, upon his lofty throne,
    Harkens to his sister's prayer;
   From the blue heights thundering down,
    Hurls his forked lightning there,
   Crackling, it begins to blaze,
    From the altar whirling bounds,--
   And his swift-winged eagle plays
    High above in circling rounds.

   Soon at the feet of their mistress are kneeling,
    Filled with emotion, the rapturous throng;
   Into humanity's earliest feeling
    Melt their rude spirits, untutored and strong.
   Each bloody weapon behind them they leave,
    Rays on their senses beclouded soon shine,
   And from the mouth of the queen they receive,
    Gladly and meekly, instruction divine.

   All the deities advance
    Downward from their heavenly seats;
   Themis' self 'tis leads the dance,
    And, with staff of justice, metes
   Unto every one his rights,--
    Landmarks, too, 'tis hers to fix;
   And in witness she invites
    All the hidden powers of Styx.

   And the forge-god, too, is there,
    The inventive son of Zeus;
   Fashioner of vessels fair
    Skilled in clay and brass's use.
   'Tis from him the art man knows
    Tongs and bellows how to wield;
   'Neath his hammer's heavy blows
    Was the ploughshare first revealed.

   With projecting, weighty spear,
    Front of all, Minerva stands,
   Lifts her voice so strong and clear,
    And the godlike host commands.
   Steadfast walls 'tis hers to found,
    Shield and screen for every one,
   That the scattered world around
    Bind in loving unison.

   The immortals' steps she guides
    O'er the trackless plains so vast,
   And where'er her foot abides
    Is the boundary god held fast;
   And her measuring chain is led
    Round the mountain's border green,--
   E'en the raging torrent's bed
    In the holy ring is seen.

   All the Nymphs and Oreads too
    Who, the mountain pathways o'er,
   Swift-foot Artemis pursue,
    All to swell the concourse, pour,
   Brandishing the hunting-spear,--
    Set to work,--glad shouts uprise,--
   'Neath their axes' blows so clear
    Crashing down the pine-wood flies.

   E'en the sedge-crowned God ascends
    From his verdant spring to light,
   And his raft's direction bends
    At the goddess' word of might,--
   While the hours, all gently bound,
    Nimbly to their duty fly;
   Rugged trunks are fashioned round
    By her skilled hand gracefully.

   E'en the sea-god thither fares;--
    Sudden, with his trident's blow,
   He the granite columns tears
    From earth's entrails far below;--
   In his mighty hands, on high,
    Waves he them, like some light ball,
   And with nimble Hermes by,
    Raises up the rampart-wall.

   But from out the golden strings
    Lures Apollo harmony,
   Measured time's sweet murmurings,
    And the might of melody.
   The Camoenae swell the strain
    With their song of ninefold tone:
   Captive bound in music's chain,
    Softly stone unites to stone.

   Cybele, with skilful hand,
    Open throws the wide-winged door;
   Locks and bolts by her are planned,
    Sure to last forevermore.
   Soon complete the wondrous halls
    By the gods' own hands are made,
   And the temple's glowing walls
    Stand in festal pomp arrayed.

   With a crown of myrtle twined,
    Now the goddess queen comes there,
   And she leads the fairest hind
    To the shepherdess most fair.
   Venus, with her beauteous boy,
    That first pair herself attires;
   All the gods bring gifts of joy,
    Blessing their love's sacred fires.

   Guided by the deities,
    Soon the new-born townsmen pour,
   Ushered in with harmonies,
    Through the friendly open door.
   Holding now the rites divine,
    Ceres at Zeus' altar stands,--
   Blessing those around the shrine,
    Thus she speaks, with folded hands:--

   "Freedom's love the beast inflames,
    And the god rules free in air,
   While the law of Nature tames
    Each wild lust that lingers there.
   Yet, when thus together thrown,
    Man with man must fain unite;
   And by his own worth alone
    Can he freedom gain, and might."

   Wreathe in a garland the corn's golden ear!
    With it, the Cyane blue intertwine!
   Rapture must render each glance bright and clear,
    For the great queen is approaching her shrine,--
   She who our homesteads so blissful has given,
    She who has man to his fellow-man bound:
   Let our glad numbers extol then to heaven,
    Her who the earth's kindly mother is found!




    THE RING OF POLYCRATES. [32]

        A BALLAD.

   Upon his battlements he stood,
   And downward gazed in joyous mood,
     On Samos' Isle, that owned his sway,
   "All this is subject to my yoke;"
   To Egypt's monarch thus he spoke,--
     "That I am truly blest, then, say!"

   "The immortals' favor thou hast known!
   Thy sceptre's might has overthrown
     All those who once were like to thee.
   Yet to avenge them one lives still;
   I cannot call thee blest, until
     That dreaded foe has ceased to be."

   While to these words the king gave vent,
   A herald from Miletus sent,
     Appeared before the tyrant there:
   "Lord, let thy incense rise to-day,
   And with the laurel branches gay
     Thou well may'st crown thy festive hair!"

   "Thy foe has sunk beneath the spear,--
   I'm sent to bear the glad news here,
     By thy true marshal Polydore"--
   Then from a basin black he takes--
   The fearful sight their terror wakes--
     A well-known head, besmeared with gore.

   The king with horror stepped aside,
   And then with anxious look replied:
     "Thy bliss to fortune ne'er commit.
   On faithless waves, bethink thee how
   Thy fleet with doubtful fate swims now--
     How soon the storm may scatter it!"

   But ere he yet had spoke the word,
   A shout of jubilee is heard
     Resounding from the distant strand.
   With foreign treasures teeming o'er,
   The vessels' mast-rich wood once more
     Returns home to its native land.

   The guest then speaks with startled mind:
   "Fortune to-day, in truth, seems kind;
     But thou her fickleness shouldst fear:
   The Cretan hordes, well skilled, in arms,
   Now threaten thee with war's alarms;
     E'en now they are approaching here."

   And, ere the word has 'scaped his lips,
   A stir is seen amongst the ships,
     And thousand voices "Victory!" cry:
   "We are delivered from our foe,
   The storm has laid the Cretan low,
     The war is ended, is gone by!"

   The shout with horror hears the guest:
   "In truth, I must esteem thee blest!
     Yet dread I the decrees of heaven.
   The envy of the gods I fear;
   To taste of unmixed rapture here
     Is never to a mortal given."

   "With me, too, everything succeeds;
   In all my sovereign acts and deeds
     The grace of Heaven is ever by;
   And yet I had a well-loved heir--
   I paid my debt to fortune there--
     God took him hence--I saw him die."

   "Wouldst thou from sorrow, then, be free.
   Pray to each unseen Deity,
     For thy well-being, grief to send;
   The man on whom the Gods bestow
   Their gifts with hands that overflow,
     Comes never to a happy end."

   "And if the Gods thy prayer resist,
   Then to a friend's instruction list,--
     Invoke thyself adversity;
   And what, of all thy treasures bright,
   Gives to thy heart the most delight--
     That take and cast thou in the sea!"

   Then speaks the other, moved by fear:
   "This ring to me is far most dear
     Of all this isle within it knows--
   I to the furies pledge it now,
   If they will happiness allow"--
     And in the flood the gem he throws.

   And with the morrow's earliest light,
   Appeared before the monarch's sight
     A fisherman, all joyously;
   "Lord, I this fish just now have caught,
   No net before e'er held the sort;
     And as a gift I bring it thee."

   The fish was opened by the cook,
   Who suddenly, with wondering look,
     Runs up, and utters these glad sounds:
   "Within the fish's maw, behold,
   I've found, great lord, thy ring of gold!
     Thy fortune truly knows no bounds!"

   The guest with terror turned away:
   "I cannot here, then, longer stay,--
     My friend thou canst no longer be!
   The gods have willed that thou shouldst die:
   Lest I, too, perish, I must fly"--
     He spoke,--and sailed thence hastily.




     THE CRANES OF IBYCUS.

         A BALLAD.

   Once to the song and chariot-fight,
   Where all the tribes of Greece unite
   On Corinth's isthmus joyously,
   The god-loved Ibycus drew nigh.
   On him Apollo had bestowed
    The gift of song and strains inspired;
   So, with light staff, he took his road
    From Rhegium, by the godhead fired.

   Acrocorinth, on mountain high,
   Now burns upon the wanderer's eye,
   And he begins, with pious dread,
   Poseidon's grove of firs to tread.
   Naught moves around him, save a swarm
    Of cranes, who guide him on his way;
   Who from far southern regions warm
    Have hither come in squadron gray.

   "Thou friendly band, all hail to thee!
   Who led'st me safely o'er the sea!
   I deem thee as a favoring sign,--
   My destiny resembles thine.
   Both come from a far distant coast,
    Both pray for some kind sheltering place;--
   Propitious toward us be the host
    Who from the stranger wards disgrace!"

   And on he hastes, in joyous wood,
   And reaches soon the middle wood
   When, on a narrow bridge, by force
   Two murderers sudden bar his course.
   He must prepare him for the fray,
    But soon his wearied hand sinks low;
   Inured the gentle lyre to play,
    It ne'er has strung the deadly bow.

   On gods and men for aid he cries,--
   No savior to his prayer replies;
   However far his voice he sends,
   Naught living to his cry attends.
   "And must I in a foreign land,
    Unwept, deserted, perish here,
   Falling beneath a murderous hand,
    Where no avenger can appear?"

   Deep-wounded, down he sinks at last,
   When, lo! the cranes' wings rustle past.
   He hears,--though he no more can see,--
   Their voices screaming fearfully.
   "By you, ye cranes, that soar on high,
    If not another voice is heard,
   Be borne to heaven my murder-cry!"
    He speaks, and dies, too, with the word.

   The naked corpse, ere long, is found,
   And, though defaced by many a wound,
   His host in Corinth soon could tell
   The features that he loved so well.
   "And is it thus I find thee now,
    Who hoped the pine's victorious crown
   To place upon the singer's brow,
    Illumined by his bright renown?"

   The news is heard with grief by all
   Met at Poseidon's festival;
   All Greece is conscious of the smart,
   He leaves a void in every heart;
   And to the Prytanis [33] swift hie
    The people, and they urge him on
   The dead man's manes to pacify
    And with the murderer's blood atone.

   But where's the trace that from the throng
   The people's streaming crowds among,
   Allured there by the sports so bright,
   Can bring the villain back to light?
   By craven robbers was he slain?
    Or by some envious hidden foe?
   That Helios only can explain,
    Whose rays illume all things below.

   Perchance, with shameless step and proud,
   He threads e'en now the Grecian crowd--
   Whilst vengeance follows in pursuit,
   Gloats over his transgression's fruit.
   The very gods perchance he braves
    Upon the threshold of their fane,--
   Joins boldly in the human waves
    That haste yon theatre to gain.

   For there the Grecian tribes appear,
   Fast pouring in from far and near;
   On close-packed benches sit they there,--
   The stage the weight can scarcely bear.
   Like ocean-billows' hollow roar,
    The teaming crowds of living man
   Toward the cerulean heavens upsoar,
    In bow of ever-widening span.

   Who knows the nation, who the name,
   Of all who there together came?
   From Theseus' town, from Aulis' strand
   From Phocis, from the Spartan land,
   From Asia's distant coast, they wend,
    From every island of the sea,
   And from the stage they hear ascend
    The chorus's dread melody.

   Who, sad and solemn, as of old,
   With footsteps measured and controlled,
   Advancing from the far background,
   Circle the theatre's wide round.
   Thus, mortal women never move!
    No mortal home to them gave birth!
   Their giant-bodies tower above,
    High o'er the puny sons of earth.

   With loins in mantle black concealed,
   Within their fleshless bands they wield
   The torch, that with a dull red glows,--
   While in their cheek no life-blood flows;
   And where the hair is floating wide
    And loving, round a mortal brow,
   Here snakes and adders are descried,
    Whose bellies swell with poison now.

   And, standing in a fearful ring,
   The dread and solemn chant they sing,
   That through the bosom thrilling goes,
   And round the sinner fetters throws.
   Sense-robbing, of heart-maddening power,
    The furies' strains resound through air
   The listener's marrow they devour,--
    The lyre can yield such numbers ne'er.

   "Happy the man who, blemish-free,
   Preserves a soul of purity!
   Near him we ne'er avenging come,
   He freely o'er life's path may roam.
   But woe to him who, hid from view,
    Hath done the deed of murder base!
   Upon his heels we close pursue,--
    We, who belong to night's dark race!"

   "And if he thinks to 'scape by flight,
   Winged we appear, our snare of might
   Around his flying feet to cast,
   So that he needs must fall at last.
   Thus we pursue him, tiring ne'er,--
    Our wrath repentance cannot quell,--
   On to the shadows, and e'en there
    We leave him not in peace to dwell!"

   Thus singing, they the dance resume,
   And silence, like that of the tomb,
   O'er the whole house lies heavily,
   As if the deity were nigh.
   And staid and solemn, as of old,
    Circling the theatre's wide round,
   With footsteps measured and controlled,
    They vanish in the far background.

   Between deceit and truth each breast.
   Now doubting hangs, by awe possessed,
   And homage pays to that dread might,
   That judges what is hid from sight,--
   That, fathomless, inscrutable,
    The gloomy skein of fate entwines,
   That reads the bosom's depths full well,
    Yet flies away where sunlight shines.

   When sudden, from the tier most high,
   A voice is heard by all to cry:
   "See there, see there, Timotheus!
   Behold the cranes of Ibycus!"
   The heavens become as black as night,
    And o'er the theatre they see,
   Far over-head, a dusky flight
    Of cranes, approaching hastily.

   "Of Ibycus!"--That name so blest
   With new-born sorrow fills each breast.
   As waves on waves in ocean rise,
   From mouth to mouth it swiftly flies:
   "Of Ibycus, whom we lament?
    Who fell beneath the murderer's hand?
   What mean those words that from him went?
    What means this cranes' advancing band?"

   And louder still become the cries,
   And soon this thought foreboding flies
   Through every heart, with speed of light--
   "Observe in this the furies' might!
   The poets manes are now appeased
    The murderer seeks his own arrest!
   Let him who spoke the word be seized,
    And him to whom it was addressed!"

   That word he had no sooner spoke,
   Than he its sound would fain invoke;
   In vain! his mouth, with terror pale,
   Tells of his guilt the fearful tale.
   Before the judge they drag them now
    The scene becomes the tribunal;
   Their crimes the villains both avow,
    When neath the vengeance-stroke they fall.




        THE PLAYING INFANT.

   Play on thy mother's bosom, babe, for in that holy isle
   The error cannot find thee yet, the grieving, nor the guile;
   Held in thy mother's arms above life's dark and troubled wave,
   Thou lookest with thy fearless smile upon the floating grave.
   Play, loveliest innocence!--Thee yet Arcadia circles round,
   A charmed power for thee has set the lists of fairy ground;
   Each gleesome impulse Nature now can sanction and befriend,
   Nor to that willing heart as yet the duty and the end.
   Play, for the haggard labor soon will come to seize its prey.
   Alas! when duty grows thy law, enjoyment fades away!




          HERO AND LEANDER. [34]

              A BALLAD.


   See you the towers, that, gray and old,
   Frown through the sunlight's liquid gold,
    Steep sternly fronting steep?
   The Hellespont beneath them swells,
   And roaring cleaves the Dardanelles,
    The rock-gates of the deep!
   Hear you the sea, whose stormy wave,
    From Asia, Europe clove in thunder?
   That sea which rent a world, cannot
    Rend love from love asunder!

   In Hero's, in Leander's heart,
   Thrills the sweet anguish of the dart
    Whose feather flies from love.
   All Hebe's bloom in Hero's cheek--
   And his the hunter's steps that seek
    Delight, the hills above!
   Between their sires the rival feud
    Forbids their plighted hearts to meet;
   Love's fruits hang over danger's gulf,
    By danger made more sweet.

   Alone on Sestos' rocky tower,
   Where upward sent in stormy shower,
    The whirling waters foam,--
   Alone the maiden sits, and eyes
   The cliffs of fair Abydos rise
    Afar--her lover's home.
   Oh, safely thrown from strand to strand,
    No bridge can love to love convey;
   No boatman shoots from yonder shore,
    Yet Love has found the way.--

   That love, which could the labyrinth pierce--
   Which nerves the weak, and curbs the fierce,
    And wings with wit the dull;--
   That love which o'er the furrowed land
   Bowed--tame beneath young Jason's hand--
    The fiery-snorting bull!
   Yes, Styx itself, that ninefold flows,
    Has love, the fearless, ventured o'er,
   And back to daylight borne the bride,
    From Pluto's dreary shore!

   What marvel then that wind and wave,
   Leander doth but burn to brave,
    When love, that goads him, guides!
   Still when the day, with fainter glimmer,
   Wanes pale--he leaps, the daring swimmer,
    Amid the darkening tides;
   With lusty arms he cleaves the waves,
    And strikes for that dear strand afar;
   Where high from Hero's lonely tower
    Lone streams the beacon-star.

   In vain his blood the wave may chill,
   These tender arms can warm it still--
    And, weary if the way,
   By many a sweet embrace, above
   All earthly boons--can liberal love
    The lover's toil repay,
   Until Aurora breaks the dream,
    And warns the loiterer to depart--
   Back to the ocean's icy bed,
    Scared from that loving heart.

   So thirty suns have sped their flight--
   Still in that theft of sweet delight
    Exult the happy pair;
   Caress will never pall caress,
   And joys that gods might envy, bless
    The single bride-night there.
   Ah! never he has rapture known,
    Who has not, where the waves are driven
   Upon the fearful shores of hell,
    Plucked fruits that taste of heaven!

   Now changing in their season are,
   The morning and the Hesper star;--
    Nor see those happy eyes
   The leaves that withering droop and fall,
   Nor hear, when, from its northern hall,
    The neighboring winter sighs;
   Or, if they see, the shortening days
    But seem to them to close in kindness;
   For longer joys, in lengthening nights,
    They thank the heaven in blindness.

   It is the time, when night and day,
   In equal scales contend for sway [35]--
    Lone, on her rocky steep,
   Lingers the girl with wistful eyes
   That watch the sun-steeds down the skies,
    Careering towards the deep.
   Lulled lay the smooth and silent sea,
    A mirror in translucent calm,
   The breeze, along that crystal realm,
    Unmurmuring, died in balm.

   In wanton swarms and blithe array,
   The merry dolphins glide and play
    Amid the silver waves.
   In gray and dusky troops are seen,
   The hosts that serve the ocean-queen,
    Upborne from coral caves:
   They--only they--have witnessed love
    To rapture steal its secret way:
   And Hecate [36] seals the only lips
    That could the tale betray!

   She marks in joy the lulled water,
   And Sestos, thus thy tender daughter,
    Soft-flattering, woos the sea!
   "Fair god--and canst thou then betray?
   No! falsehood dwells with them that say
    That falsehood dwells with thee!
   Ah! faithless is the race of man,
    And harsh a father's heart can prove;
   But thee, the gentle and the mild,
    The grief of love can move!"

   "Within these hated walls of stone,
   Should I, repining, mourn alone,
    And fade in ceaseless care,
   But thou, though o'er thy giant tide,
   Nor bridge may span, nor boat may glide,
    Dost safe my lover bear.
   And darksome is thy solemn deep,
    And fearful is thy roaring wave;
   But wave and deep are won by love--
    Thou smilest on the brave!"

   "Nor vainly, sovereign of the sea,
   Did Eros send his shafts to thee
    What time the rain of gold,
   Bright Helle, with her brother bore,
   How stirred the waves she wandered o'er,
    How stirred thy deeps of old!
   Swift, by the maiden's charms subdued,
    Thou cam'st from out the gloomy waves,
   And in thy mighty arms, she sank
    Into thy bridal caves."

   "A goddess with a god, to keep
   In endless youth, beneath the deep,
    Her solemn ocean-court!
   And still she smooths thine angry tides,
   Tames thy wild heart, and favoring guides
    The sailor to the port!
   Beautiful Helle, bright one, hear
    Thy lone adoring suppliant pray!
   And guide, O goddess--guide my love
    Along the wonted way!"

   Now twilight dims the waters' flow,
   And from the tower, the beacon's glow
    Waves flickering o'er the main.
   Ah, where athwart the dismal stream,
   Shall shine the beacon's faithful beam
    The lover's eyes shall strain!
   Hark! sounds moan threatening from afar--
    From heaven the blessed stars are gone--
   More darkly swells the rising sea
    The tempest labors on!

   Along the ocean's boundless plains
   Lies night--in torrents rush the rains
    From the dark-bosomed cloud--
   Red lightning skirs the panting air,
   And, loosed from out their rocky lair,
    Sweep all the storms abroad.
   Huge wave on huge wave tumbling o'er,
    The yawning gulf is rent asunder,
   And shows, as through an opening pall,
    Grim earth--the ocean under!

   Poor maiden! bootless wail or vow--
   "Have mercy, Jove--be gracious, thou!
    Dread prayer was mine before!"
   What if the gods have heard--and he,
   Lone victim of the stormy sea,
    Now struggles to the shore!
   There's not a sea-bird on the wave--
    Their hurrying wings the shelter seek;
   The stoutest ship the storms have proved,
    Takes refuge in the creek.

   "Ah, still that heart, which oft has braved
   The danger where the daring saved,
    Love lureth o'er the sea;--
   For many a vow at parting morn,
   That naught but death should bar return,
    Breathed those dear lips to me;
   And whirled around, the while I weep,
    Amid the storm that rides the wave,
   The giant gulf is grasping down
    The rash one to the grave!

   "False Pontus! and the calm I hailed,
   The awaiting murder darkly veiled--
    The lulled pellucid flow,
   The smiles in which thou wert arrayed,
   Were but the snares that love betrayed
    To thy false realm below!
   Now in the midway of the main,
    Return relentlessly forbidden,
   Thou loosenest on the path beyond
    The horrors thou hadst hidden."

   Loud and more loud the tempest raves
   In thunder break the mountain waves,
    White-foaming on the rock--
   No ship that ever swept the deep
   Its ribs of gnarled oak could keep
    Unshattered by the shock.
   Dies in the blast the guiding torch
    To light the struggler to the strand;
   'Tis death to battle with the wave,
    And death no less to land!

   On Venus, daughter of the seas,
   She calls the tempest to appease--
    To each wild-shrieking wind
   Along the ocean-desert borne,
   She vows a steer with golden horn--
    Vain vow--relentless wind!
   On every goddess of the deep,
    On all the gods in heaven that be,
   She calls--to soothe in calm, awhile
    The tempest-laden sea!

   "Hearken the anguish of my cries!
   From thy green halls, arise--arise,
    Leucothoe the divine!
   Who, in the barren main afar,
   Oft on the storm-beat mariner
    Dost gently-saving shine.
   Oh,--reach to him thy mystic veil,
    To which the drowning clasp may cling,
   And safely from that roaring grave,
    To shore my lover bring!"

   And now the savage winds are hushing.
   And o'er the arched horizon, blushing,
    Day's chariot gleams on high!
   Back to their wonted channels rolled,
   In crystal calm the waves behold
    One smile on sea and sky!
   All softly breaks the rippling tide,
    Low-murmuring on the rocky land,
   And playful wavelets gently float
    A corpse upon the strand!

   'Tis he!--who even in death would still
   Not fail the sweet vow to fulfil;
    She looks--sees--knows him there!
   From her pale lips no sorrow speaks,
   No tears glide down her hueless cheeks;
    Cold-numbed in her despair--
   She looked along the silent deep,
    She looked upon the brightening heaven,
   Till to the marble face the soul
    Its light sublime had given!

   "Ye solemn powers men shrink to name,
   Your might is here, your rights ye claim--
    Yet think not I repine
   Soon closed my course; yet I can bless
   The life that brought me happiness--
    The fairest lot was mine!
   Living have I thy temple served,
    Thy consecrated priestess been--
   My last glad offering now receive
    Venus, thou mightiest queen!"

   Flashed the white robe along the air,
   And from the tower that beetled there
    She sprang into the wave;
   Roused from his throne beneath the waste,
   Those holy forms the god embraced--
    A god himself their grave!
   Pleased with his prey, he glides along--
    More blithe the murmured music seems,
   A gush from unexhausted urns
    His everlasting streams!




        CASSANDRA.

   Mirth the halls of Troy was filling,
    Ere its lofty ramparts fell;
   From the golden lute so thrilling
    Hymns of joy were heard to swell.
   From the sad and tearful slaughter
    All had laid their arms aside,
   For Pelides Priam's daughter
    Claimed then as his own fair bride.

   Laurel branches with them bearing,
    Troop on troop in bright array
   To the temples were repairing,
    Owning Thymbrius' sovereign sway.
   Through the streets, with frantic measure,
    Danced the bacchanal mad round,
   And, amid the radiant pleasure,
    Only one sad breast was found.

   Joyless in the midst of gladness,
    None to heed her, none to love,
   Roamed Cassandra, plunged in sadness,
    To Apollo's laurel grove.
   To its dark and deep recesses
    Swift the sorrowing priestess hied,
   And from off her flowing tresses
    Tore the sacred band, and cried:

   "All around with joy is beaming,
    Ev'ry heart is happy now,
   And my sire is fondly dreaming,
    Wreathed with flowers my sister's brow
   I alone am doomed to wailing,
    That sweet vision flies from me;
   In my mind, these walls assailing,
    Fierce destruction I can see."

   "Though a torch I see all-glowing,
    Yet 'tis not in Hymen's hand;
   Smoke across the skies is blowing,
    Yet 'tis from no votive brand.
   Yonder see I feasts entrancing,
    But in my prophetic soul,
   Hear I now the God advancing,
    Who will steep in tears the bowl!"

   "And they blame my lamentation,
    And they laugh my grief to scorn;
   To the haunts of desolation
    I must bear my woes forlorn.
   All who happy are, now shun me,
    And my tears with laughter see;
   Heavy lies thy hand upon me,
    Cruel Pythian deity!"

   "Thy divine decrees foretelling,
    Wherefore hast thou thrown me here,
   Where the ever-blind are dwelling,
    With a mind, alas, too clear?
   Wherefore hast thou power thus given,
    What must needs occur to know?
   Wrought must be the will of Heaven--
    Onward come the hour of woe!"

   "When impending fate strikes terror,
    Why remove the covering?
   Life we have alone in error,
    Knowledge with it death must bring.
   Take away this prescience tearful,
    Take this sight of woe from me;
   Of thy truths, alas! how fearful
    'Tis the mouthpiece frail to be!"

   "Veil my mind once more in slumbers
    Let me heedlessly rejoice;
   Never have I sung glad numbers
    Since I've been thy chosen voice.
   Knowledge of the future giving,
    Thou hast stolen the present day,
   Stolen the moment's joyous living,--
    Take thy false gift, then, away!"

   "Ne'er with bridal train around me,
    Have I wreathed my radiant brow,
   Since to serve thy fane I bound me--
    Bound me with a solemn vow.
   Evermore in grief I languish--
    All my youth in tears was spent;
   And with thoughts of bitter anguish
    My too-feeling heart is rent."

   "Joyously my friends are playing,
    All around are blest and glad,
   In the paths of pleasure straying,--
    My poor heart alone is sad.
   Spring in vain unfolds each treasure,
    Filling all the earth with bliss;
   Who in life can e'er take pleasure,
    When is seen its dark abyss?"

   "With her heart in vision burning,
    Truly blest is Polyxene,
   As a bride to clasp him yearning.
    Him, the noblest, best Hellene!
   And her breast with rapture swelling,
    All its bliss can scarcely know;
   E'en the Gods in heavenly dwelling
    Envying not, when dreaming so."

   "He to whom my heart is plighted
    Stood before my ravished eye,
   And his look, by passion lighted,
    Toward me turned imploringly.
   With the loved one, oh, how gladly
    Homeward would I take my flight
   But a Stygian shadow sadly
    Steps between us every night."

   "Cruel Proserpine is sending
    All her spectres pale to me;
   Ever on my steps attending
    Those dread shadowy forms I see.
   Though I seek, in mirth and laughter
    Refuge from that ghastly train,
   Still I see them hastening after,--
    Ne'er shall I know joy again."

   "And I see the death-steel glancing,
    And the eye of murder glare;
   On, with hasty strides advancing,
    Terror haunts me everywhere.
   Vain I seek alleviation;--
    Knowing, seeing, suffering all,
   I must wait the consummation,
    In a foreign land must fall."

   While her solemn words are ringing,
    Hark! a dull and wailing tone
   From the temple's gate upspringing,--
    Dead lies Thetis' mighty son!
   Eris shakes her snake-locks hated,
    Swiftly flies each deity,
   And o'er Ilion's walls ill-fated
    Thunder-clouds loom heavily!




          THE HOSTAGE.

           A BALLAD.

   The tyrant Dionys to seek,
    Stern Moerus with his poniard crept;
    The watchful guard upon him swept;
   The grim king marked his changeless cheek:
   "What wouldst thou with thy poniard? Speak!"
   "The city from the tyrant free!"
   "The death-cross shall thy guerdon be."

   "I am prepared for death, nor pray,"
    Replied that haughty man, "I to live;
    Enough, if thou one grace wilt give
   For three brief suns the death delay
   To wed my sister--leagues away;
   I boast one friend whose life for mine,
   If I should fail the cross, is thine."

   The tyrant mused,--and smiled,--and said
    With gloomy craft, "So let it be;
    Three days I will vouchsafe to thee.
   But mark--if, when the time be sped,
   Thou fail'st--thy surety dies instead.
   His life shall buy thine own release;
   Thy guilt atoned, my wrath shall cease."

   He sought his friend--"The king's decree
    Ordains my life the cross upon
    Shall pay the deed I would have done;
   Yet grants three days' delay to me,
   My sister's marriage-rites to see;
   If thou, the hostage, wilt remain
   Till I--set free--return again!"

   His friend embraced--No word he said,
    But silent to the tyrant strode--
    The other went upon his road.
   Ere the third sun in heaven was red,
   The rite was o'er, the sister wed;
   And back, with anxious heart unquailing,
   He hastes to hold the pledge unfailing.

   Down the great rains unending bore,
    Down from the hills the torrents rushed,
    In one broad stream the brooklets gushed.
   The wanderer halts beside the shore,
   The bridge was swept the tides before--
   The shattered arches o'er and under
   Went the tumultuous waves in thunder.

   Dismayed he takes his idle stand--
    Dismayed, he strays and shouts around;
    His voice awakes no answering sound.
   No boat will leave the sheltering strand,
   To bear him to the wished-for land;
   No boatman will Death's pilot be;
   The wild stream gathers to a sea!

   Sunk by the banks, awhile he weeps,
    Then raised his arms to Jove, and cried,
    "Stay thou, oh stay the maddening tide;
   Midway behold the swift sun sweeps,
   And, ere he sinks adown the deeps,
   If I should fail, his beams will see
   My friend's last anguish--slain for me!"

   More fierce it runs, more broad it flows,
    And wave on wave succeeds and dies
    And hour on hour remorseless flies;
   Despair at last to daring grows--
   Amidst the flood his form he throws;
   With vigorous arms the roaring waves
   Cleaves--and a God that pities, saves.

   He wins the bank--he scours the strand,
    He thanks the God in breathless prayer;
    When from the forest's gloomy lair,
   With ragged club in ruthless hand,
   And breathing murder--rushed the band
   That find, in woods, their savage den,
   And savage prey in wandering men.

   "What," cried he, pale with generous fear;
    "What think to gain ye by the strife?
    All I bear with me is my life--
   I take it to the king!"--and here
   He snatched the club from him most near:
   And thrice he smote, and thrice his blows
   Dealt death--before him fly the foes!

   The sun is glowing as a brand;
    And faint before the parching heat,
    The strength forsakes the feeble feet:
   "Thou hast saved me from the robbers' hand,
   Through wild floods given the blessed land;
   And shall the weak limbs fail me now?
   And he!--Divine one, nerve me, thou!"


   Hark! like some gracious murmur by,
    Babbles low music, silver-clear--
    The wanderer holds his breath to hear;
   And from the rock, before his eye,
   Laughs forth the spring delightedly;
   Now the sweet waves he bends him o'er,
   And the sweet waves his strength restore.

   Through the green boughs the sun gleams dying,
    O'er fields that drink the rosy beam,
    The trees' huge shadows giant seem.
   Two strangers on the road are hieing;
   And as they fleet beside him flying,
   These muttered words his ear dismay:
   "Now--now the cross has claimed its prey!"

   Despair his winged path pursues,
    The anxious terrors hound him on--
    There, reddening in the evening sun,
   From far, the domes of Syracuse!--
   When towards him comes Philostratus
   (His leal and trusty herdsman he),
   And to the master bends his knee.

   "Back--thou canst aid thy friend no more,
    The niggard time already flown--
    His life is forfeit--save thine own!
   Hour after hour in hope he bore,
   Nor might his soul its faith give o'er;
   Nor could the tyrant's scorn deriding,
   Steal from that faith one thought confiding!"

   "Too late! what horror hast thou spoken!
    Vain life, since it cannot requite him!
    But death with me can yet unite him;
   No boast the tyrant's scorn shall make--
   How friend to friend can faith forsake.
   But from the double death shall know,
   That truth and love yet live below!"

   The sun sinks down--the gate's in view,
    The cross looms dismal on the ground--
    The eager crowd gape murmuring round.
   His friend is bound the cross unto. . . .
   Crowd--guards--all bursts he breathless through:
   "Me! Doomsman, me!" he shouts, "alone!
   His life is rescued--lo, mine own!"

   Amazement seized the circling ring!
    Linked in each other's arms the pair--
    Weeping for joy--yet anguish there!
   Moist every eye that gazed;--they bring
   The wondrous tidings to the king--
   His breast man's heart at last hath known,
   And the friends stand before his throne.

   Long silent, he, and wondering long,
    Gazed on the pair--"In peace depart,
    Victors, ye have subdued my heart!
   Truth is no dream!--its power is strong.
   Give grace to him who owns his wrong!
   'Tis mine your suppliant now to be,
   Ah, let the band of love--be three!" [37]




          GREEKISM.

   Scarce has the fever so chilly of Gallomania departed,
   When a more burning attack in Grecomania breaks out.
   Greekism,--what did it mean?--'Twas harmony, reason, and clearness!
   Patience,--good gentlemen, pray, ere ye of Greekism speak!
   'Tis for an excellent cause ye are fighting, and all that I ask for
   Is that with reason it ne'er may be a laughing-stock made.




          THE DIVER.

           A BALLAD.

   "What knight or what vassal will be so bold
    As to plunge in the gulf below?
   See! I hurl in its depths a goblet of gold,
    Already the waters over it flow.
   The man who can bring back the goblet to me,
   May keep it henceforward,--his own it shall be."

   Thus speaks the king, and he hurls from the height
    Of the cliffs that, rugged and steep,
   Hang over the boundless sea, with strong might,
    The goblet afar, in the bellowing deep.
   "And who'll be so daring,--I ask it once more,--
   As to plunge in these billows that wildly roar?"

   And the vassals and knights of high degree
    Hear his words, but silent remain.
   They cast their eyes on the raging sea,
    And none will attempt the goblet to gain.
   And a third time the question is asked by the king:
   "Is there none that will dare in the gulf now to spring?"

   Yet all as before in silence stand,
    When a page, with a modest pride,
   Steps out of the timorous squirely band,
    And his girdle and mantle soon throws aside,
   And all the knights, and the ladies too,
   The noble stripling with wonderment view.

   And when he draws nigh to the rocky brow,
    And looks in the gulf so black,
   The waters that she had swallowed but now,
    The howling Charybdis is giving back;
   And, with the distant thunder's dull sound.
   From her gloomy womb they all-foaming rebound.

   And it boils and it roars, and it hisses and seethes,
    As when water and fire first blend;
   To the sky spurts the foam in steam-laden wreaths,
    And wave presses hard upon wave without end.
   And the ocean will never exhausted be,
   As if striving to bring forth another sea.

   But at length the wild tumult seems pacified,
    And blackly amid the white swell
   A gaping chasm its jaws opens wide,
    As if leading down to the depths of hell:
   And the howling billows are seen by each eye
   Down the whirling funnel all madly to fly.

   Then quickly, before the breakers rebound,
    The stripling commends him to Heaven,
   And--a scream of horror is heard around,--
    And now by the whirlpool away he is driven,
   And secretly over the swimmer brave
   Close the jaws, and he vanishes 'neath the dark wave.

   O'er the watery gulf dread silence now lies,
    But the deep sends up a dull yell,
   And from mouth to mouth thus trembling it flies:
    "Courageous stripling, oh, fare thee well!"
   And duller and duller the howls recommence,
   While they pause in anxious and fearful suspense.

   "If even thy crown in the gulf thou shouldst fling,
    And shouldst say, 'He who brings it to me
   Shall wear it henceforward, and be the king,'
    Thou couldst tempt me not e'en with that precious foe;
   What under the howling deep is concealed
   To no happy living soul is revealed!"

   Full many a ship, by the whirlpool held fast,
    Shoots straightway beneath the mad wave,
   And, dashed to pieces, the hull and the mast
    Emerge from the all-devouring grave,--
   And the roaring approaches still nearer and nearer,
   Like the howl of the tempest, still clearer and clearer.

   And it boils and it roars, and it hisses and seethes,
    As when water and fire first blend;
   To the sky spurts the foam in steam-laden wreaths,
    And wave passes hard upon wave without end.
   And, with the distant thunder's dull sound,
   From the ocean-womb they all-bellowing bound.

   And lo! from the darkly flowing tide
   Comes a vision white as a swan,
   And an arm and a glistening neck are descried,
   With might and with active zeal steering on;
   And 'tis he, and behold! his left hand on high
   Waves the goblet, while beaming with joy is his eye.

   Then breathes he deeply, then breathes he long,
   And blesses the light of the day;
   While gladly exclaim to each other the throng:
   "He lives! he is here! he is not the sea's prey!
   From the tomb, from the eddying waters' control,
   The brave one has rescued his living soul!"

   And he comes, and they joyously round him stand;
    At the feet of the monarch he falls,--
   The goblet he, kneeling, puts in his hand,
    And the king to his beauteous daughter calls,
   Who fills it with sparkling wine to the brim;
   The youth turns to the monarch, and speaks thus to him:

   "Long life to the king! Let all those be glad
    Who breathe in the light of the sky!
   For below all is fearful, of moment sad;
    Let not man to tempt the immortals e'er try,
   Let him never desire the thing to see
   That with terror and night they veil graciously."

   "I was torn below with the speed of light,
    When out of a cavern of rock
   Rushed towards me a spring with furious might;
    I was seized by the twofold torrent's wild shock,
   And like a top, with a whirl and a bound,
   Despite all resistance, was whirled around."

   "Then God pointed out,--for to Him I cried
    In that terrible moment of need,--
   A craggy reef in the gulf's dark side;
    I seized it in haste, and from death was then freed.
   And there, on sharp corals, was hanging the cup,--
   The fathomless pit had else swallowed it up."

   "For under me lay it, still mountain-deep,
    In a darkness of purple-tinged dye,
   And though to the ear all might seem then asleep
    With shuddering awe 'twas seen by the eye
   How the salamanders' and dragons' dread forms
   Filled those terrible jaws of hell with their swarms."

   "There crowded, in union fearful and black,
    In a horrible mass entwined,
   The rock-fish, the ray with the thorny back,
    And the hammer-fish's misshapen kind,
   And the shark, the hyena dread of the sea,
   With his angry teeth, grinned fiercely on me."

   "There hung I, by fulness of terror possessed,
    Where all human aid was unknown,
   Amongst phantoms, the only sensitive breast,
    In that fearful solitude all alone,
   Where the voice of mankind could not reach to mine ear,
   'Mid the monsters foul of that wilderness drear."

   "Thus shuddering methought--when a something crawled near,
    And a hundred limbs it out-flung,
   And at me it snapped;--in my mortal fear,
    I left hold of the coral to which I had clung;
   Then the whirlpool seized on me with maddened roar,
   Yet 'twas well, for it brought me to light once more."

   The story in wonderment hears the king,
    And he says, "The cup is thine own,
   And I purpose also to give thee this ring,
    Adorned with a costly, a priceless stone,
   If thou'lt try once again, and bring word to me
   What thou saw'st in the nethermost depths of the sea."

   His daughter hears this with emotions soft,
    And with flattering accent prays she:
   "That fearful sport, father, attempt not too oft!
    What none other would dare, he hath ventured for thee;
   If thy heart's wild longings thou canst not tame,
   Let the knights, if they can, put the squire to shame."

   The king then seizes the goblet in haste,
    In the gulf he hurls it with might:
   "When the goblet once more in my hands thou hast placed,
    Thou shalt rank at my court as the noblest knight,
   And her as a bride thou shalt clasp e'en to-day,
   Who for thee with tender compassion doth pray."

   Then a force, as from Heaven, descends on him there,
    And lightning gleams in his eye,
   And blushes he sees on her features so fair,
    And he sees her turn pale, and swooning lie;
   Then eager the precious guerdon to win,
   For life or for death, lo! he plunges him in!

   The breakers they hear, and the breakers return,
    Proclaimed by a thundering sound;
   They bend o'er the gulf with glances that yearn,
    And the waters are pouring in fast around;
   Though upwards and downwards they rush and they rave,
   The youth is brought back by no kindly wave.




        THE KNIGHT OF TOGGENBURG.

            A BALLAD.

   "I Can love thee well, believe me,
     As a sister true;
   Other love, Sir Knight, would grieve me,
     Sore my heart would rue.
   Calmly would I see thee going,
     Calmly, too, appear;
   For those tears in silence flowing
     Find no answer here."

   Thus she speaks,--he hears her sadly,--
     How his heartstrings bleed!
   In his arms he clasps her madly,
     Then he mounts his steed.
   From the Switzer land collects he
     All his warriors brave;--
   Cross on breast, their course directs he
     To the Holy Grave.

   In triumphant march advancing,
     Onward moves the host,
   While their morion plumes are dancing
     Where the foes are most.
   Mortal terror strikes the Paynim
     At the chieftain's name;
   But the knight's sad thoughts enchain him--
     Grief consumes his frame.

   Twelve long months, with courage daring,
     Peace he strives to find;
   Then, at last, of rest despairing,
     Leaves the host behind;
   Sees a ship, whose sails are swelling,
     Lie on Joppa's strand;
   Ships him homeward for her dwelling,
     In his own loved land.

   Now behold the pilgrim weary
     At her castle gate!
   But alas! these accents dreary
     Seal his mournful fate:--
   "She thou seek'st her troth hath plighted
     To all-gracious heaven;
   To her God she was united
     Yesterday at even!"

   To his father's home forever
     Bids he now adieu;
   Sees no more his arms and beaver,
     Nor his steed so true.
   Then descends he, sadly, slowly,--
     None suspect the sight,--
   For a garb of penance lowly
     Wears the noble knight.

   Soon he now, the tempest braving,
     Builds an humble shed,
   Where o'er the lime-trees darkly waving,
     Peeps the convent's head.
   From the orb of day's first gleaming,
     Till his race has run,
   Hope in every feature beaming,
     There he sits alone.

   Toward the convent straining ever
     His unwearied eyes,--
   From her casement looking never
     Till it open flies,
   Till the loved one, soft advancing,
     Shows her gentle face,
   O'er the vale her sweet eye glancing,
     Full of angel-grace.

   Then he seeks his bed of rushes,
     Stilled all grief and pain,
   Slumbering calm, till morning's blushes
     Waken life again.
   Days and years fleet on, yet never
     Breathes he plaint or sighs,
   On her casement gazing ever
     Till it open flies.

   Till the loved one, soft advancing,
     Shows her gentle face,
   O'er the vale her sweet eyes glancing,
     Full of angel-grace.
   But at length, the morn returning
     Finds him dead and chill;--
   Pale and wan, his gaze, with yearning,
     Seeks her casement still.




     THE FIGHT WITH THE DRAGON.

   Why run the crowd? What means the throng
   That rushes fast the streets along?
   Can Rhodes a prey to flames, then, be?
   In crowds they gather hastily,
   And, on his steed, a noble knight
   Amid the rabble, meets my sight;
   Behind him--prodigy unknown!--
   A monster fierce they're drawing on;
   A dragon stems it by its shape,
    With wide and crocodile-like jaw,
   And on the knight and dragon gape,
    In turns, the people, filled with awe.

   And thousand voices shout with glee
   "The fiery dragon come and see,
   Who hind and flock tore limb from limb!--
   The hero see, who vanquished him!
   Full many a one before him went,
   To dare the fearful combat bent,
   But none returned home from the fight;
   Honor ye, then, the noble knight!"
   And toward the convent move they all,
    While met in hasty council there
   The brave knights of the Hospital,
    St. John the Baptist's Order, were.

   Up to the noble master sped
   The youth, with firm but modest tread;
   The people followed with wild shout,
   And stood the landing-place about,
   While thus outspoke that daring one:
   "My knightly duty I have done.
   The dragon that laid waste the land
   Has fallen beneath my conquering hand.
   The way is to the wanderer free,
    The shepherd o'er the plains may rove;
   Across the mountains joyfully
    The pilgrim to the shrine may move."

   But sternly looked the prince, and said:
   "The hero's part thou well hast played
   By courage is the true knight known,--
   A dauntless spirit thou hast shown.
   Yet speak! What duty first should he
   Regard, who would Christ's champion be,
   Who wears the emblem of the Cross?"--
   And all turned pale at his discourse.
   Yet he replied, with noble grace,
    While blushingly he bent him low:
   "That he deserves so proud a place
    Obedience best of all can show."

   "My son," the master answering spoke,
   "Thy daring act this duty broke.
   The conflict that the law forbade
   Thou hast with impious mind essayed."--
   "Lord, judge when all to thee is known,"
   The other spake, in steadfast tone,--
   "For I the law's commands and will
   Purposed with honor to fulfil.
   I went not out with heedless thought.
    Hoping the monster dread to find;
   To conquer in the fight I sought
    By cunning, and a prudent mind."

   "Five of our noble Order, then
   (Our faith could boast no better men),
   Had by their daring lost their life,
   When thou forbadest us the strife.
   And yet my heart I felt a prey
   To gloom, and panted for the fray;
   Ay, even in the stilly night,
   In vision gasped I in the fight;
   And when the glimmering morning came,
    And of fresh troubles knowledge gave,
   A raging grief consumed my frame,
    And I resolved the thing to brave."

   "And to myself I thus began:
   'What is't adorns the youth, the man?
   What actions of the heroes bold,
   Of whom in ancient song we're told,
   Blind heathendom raised up on high
   To godlike fame and dignity?
   The world, by deeds known far and wide,
   From monsters fierce they purified;
   The lion in the fight they met,
    And wrestled with the minotaur,
   Unhappy victims free to set,
    And were not sparing of their gore.'"

   "'Are none but Saracens to feel
   The prowess of the Christian steel?
   False idols only shall be brave?
   His mission is the world to save;
   To free it, by his sturdy arm,
   From every hurt, from every harm;
   Yet wisdom must his courage bend,
   And cunning must with strength contend.'
   Thus spake I oft, and went alone
    The monster's traces to espy;
   When on my mind a bright light shone,--
    'I have it!' was my joyful cry."

   "To thee I went, and thus I spake:
   'My homeward journey I would take.'
   Thou, lord, didst grant my prayer to me,--
   Then safely traversed I the sea;
   And, when I reached my native strand,
   I caused a skilful artist's hand
   To make a dragon's image, true
   To his that now so well I knew.
   On feet of measure short was placed
    Its lengthy body's heavy load;
   A scaly coat of mail embraced
    The back, on which it fiercely showed."

   "Its stretching neck appeared to swell,
   And, ghastly as a gate of hell,
   Its fearful jaws were open wide,
   As if to seize the prey it tried;
   And in its black mouth, ranged about,
   Its teeth in prickly rows stood out;
   Its tongue was like a sharp-edged sword,
   And lightning from its small eyes poured;
   A serpent's tail of many a fold
    Ended its body's monstrous span,
   And round itself with fierceness rolled,
    So as to clasp both steed and man."

   "I formed the whole to nature true,
   In skin of gray and hideous hue;
   Part dragon it appeared, part snake,
   Engendered in the poisonous lake.
   And, when the figure was complete,
   A pair of dogs I chose me, fleet,
   Of mighty strength, of nimble pace,
   Inured the savage boar to chase;
   The dragon, then, I made them bait,
    Inflaming them to fury dread,
   With their sharp teeth to seize it straight,
    And with my voice their motions led."

   "And, where the belly's tender skin
   Allowed the tooth to enter in,
   I taught them how to seize it there,
   And, with their fangs, the part to tear.
   I mounted, then, my Arab steed,
   The offspring of a noble breed;
   My hand a dart on high held forth,
   And, when I had inflamed his wrath,
   I stuck my sharp spurs in his side,
    And urged him on as quick as thought,
   And hurled my dart in circles wide
    As if to pierce the beast I sought."

   "And though my steed reared high in pain,
   And champed and foamed beneath the rein,
   And though the dogs howled fearfully,
   Till they were calmed ne'er rested I.
   This plan I ceaselessly pursued,
   Till thrice the moon had been renewed;
   And when they had been duly taught,
   In swift ships here I had them brought;
   And since my foot these shores has pressed
    Flown has three mornings' narrow span;
   I scarce allowed my limbs to rest
    Ere I the mighty task began."

   "For hotly was my bosom stirred
   When of the land's fresh grief I heard;
   Shepherds of late had been his prey,
   When in the marsh they went astray.
   I formed my plans then hastily,--
   My heart was all that counselled me.
   My squires instructing to proceed,
   I sprang upon my well-trained steed,
   And, followed by my noble pair
    Of dogs, by secret pathways rode,
   Where not an eye could witness bear,
    To find the monster's fell abode."

   "Thou, lord, must know the chapel well,
   Pitched on a rocky pinnacle,
   That overlooks the distant isle;
   A daring mind 'twas raised the pile.
   Though humble, mean, and small it shows
   Its walls a miracle enclose,--
   The Virgin and her infant Son,
   Vowed by the three kings of Cologne.
   By three times thirty steps is led
    The pilgrim to the giddy height;
   Yet, when he gains it with bold tread,
    He's quickened by his Saviour's sight."

   "Deep in the rock to which it clings,
   A cavern dark its arms outflings,
   Moist with the neighboring moorland's dew,
   Where heaven's bright rays can ne'er pierce through.
   There dwelt the monster, there he lay,
   His spoil awaiting, night and day;
   Like the hell-dragon, thus he kept
   Watch near the shrine, and never slept;
   And if a hapless pilgrim chanced
    To enter on that fatal way,
   From out his ambush quick advanced
    The foe, and seized him as his prey."

   "I mounted now the rocky height;
   Ere I commenced the fearful fight,
   There knelt I to the infant Lord,
   And pardon for my sins implored.
   Then in the holy fane I placed
   My shining armor round my waist,
   My right hand grasped my javelin,
   The fight then went I to begin;
   Instructions gave my squires among,
    Commanding them to tarry there;
   Then on my steed I nimbly sprung,
    And gave my spirit to God's care."

   "Soon as I reached the level plain,
   My dogs found out the scent amain;
   My frightened horse soon reared on high,--
   His fear I could not pacify,
   For, coiled up in a circle, lo!
   There lay the fierce and hideous foe,
   Sunning himself upon the ground.
   Straight at him rushed each nimble hound;
   Yet thence they turned, dismayed and fast,
    When he his gaping jaws op'd wide,
   Vomited forth his poisonous blast,
    And like the howling jackal cried."

   "But soon their courage I restored;
   They seized with rage the foe abhorred,
   While I against the beast's loins threw
   My spear with sturdy arm and true:
   But, powerless as a bulrush frail,
   It bounded from his coat of mail;
   And ere I could repeat the throw,
   My horse reeled wildly to and fro
   Before his basilisk-like look,
    And at his poison-teeming breath,--
   Sprang backward, and with terror shook,
    While I seemed doomed to certain death."

   "Then from my steed I nimbly sprung,
   My sharp-edged sword with vigor swung;
   Yet all in vain my strokes I plied,--
   I could not pierce his rock-like hide.
   His tail with fury lashing round,
   Sudden he bore me to the ground.
   His jaws then opening fearfully,
   With angry teeth he struck at me;
   But now my dogs, with wrath new-born,
    Rushed on his belly with fierce bite,
   So that, by dreadful anguish torn,
    He howling stood before my sight."

   "And ere he from their teeth was free,
   I raised myself up hastily,
   The weak place of the foe explored,
   And in his entrails plunged my sword,
   Sinking it even to the hilt;
   Black gushing forth, his blood was spilt.
   Down sank he, burying in his fall
   Me with his body's giant ball,
   So that my senses quickly fled;
    And when I woke with strength renewed,
   The dragon in his blood lay dead,
    While round me grouped my squires all stood."

   The joyous shouts, so long suppressed,
   Now burst from every hearer's breast,
   Soon as the knight these words had spoken;
   And ten times 'gainst the high vault broken,
   The sound of mingled voices rang,
   Re-echoing back with hollow clang.
   The Order's sons demand, in haste,
   That with a crown his brow be graced,
   And gratefully in triumph now
    The mob the youth would bear along
   When, lo! the master knit his brow,
    And called for silence 'mongst the throng.

   And said, "The dragon that this land
   Laid waste, thou slew'st with daring hand;
   Although the people's idol thou,
   The Order's foe I deem thee now.
   Thy breast has to a fiend more base
   Than e'en this dragon given place.
   The serpent that the heart most stings,
   And hatred and destruction brings,
   That spirit is, which stubborn lies,
    And impiously cast off the rein,
   Despising order's sacred ties;
    'Tis that destroys the world amain."

   "The Mameluke makes of courage boast,
   Obedience decks the Christian most;
   For where our great and blessed Lord
   As a mere servant walked abroad,
   The fathers, on that holy ground,
   This famous Order chose to found,
   That arduous duty to fulfil
   To overcome one's own self-will!
   'Twas idle glory moved thee there:
    So take thee hence from out my sight!
   For who the Lord's yoke cannot bear,
    To wear his cross can have no right."

   A furious shout now raise the crowd,
   The place is filled with outcries loud;
   The brethren all for pardon cry;
   The youth in silence droops his eye--
   Mutely his garment from him throws,
   Kisses the master's hand, and--goes.
   But he pursues him with his gaze,
   Recalls him lovingly, and says:
   "Let me embrace thee now, my son!
    The harder fight is gained by thee.
   Take, then, this cross--the guerdon won
    By self-subdued humility."




          FEMALE JUDGMENT.

Man frames his judgment on reason; but woman on love founds her verdict;
If her judgment loves not, woman already has judged.




   FRIDOLIN; OR, THE WALK TO THE IRON FOUNDRY.

   A gentle was Fridolin,
    And he his mistress dear,
   Savern's fair Countess, honored in
    All truth and godly fear.
   She was so meek, and, ah! so good!
   Yet each wish of her wayward mood,
   He would have studied to fulfil,
   To please his God, with earnest will.

   From the first hour when daylight shone
    Till rang the vesper-chime,
   He lived but for her will alone,
    And deemed e'en that scarce time.
   And if she said, "Less anxious be!"
   His eye then glistened tearfully.
   Thinking that he in duty failed,
   And so before no toil he quailed.

   And so, before her serving train,
    The Countess loved to raise him;
   While her fair mouth, in endless strain,
    Was ever wont to praise him.
   She never held him as her slave,
   Her heart a child's rights to him gave;
   Her clear eye hung in fond delight
   Upon his well-formed features bright.

   Soon in the huntsman Robert's breast
    Was poisonous anger fired;
   His black soul, long by lust possessed,
    With malice was inspired;
   He sought the Count, whom, quick in deed,
   A traitor might with ease mislead,
   As once from hunting home they rode,
   And in his heart suspicion sowed.

   "Happy art thou, great Count, in truth,"
    Thus cunningly he spoke;
   "For ne'er mistrust's envenomed tooth
    Thy golden slumbers broke;
   A noble wife thy love rewards,
   And modesty her person guards.
   The tempter will be able ne'er
   Her true fidelity to snare."

   A gloomy scowl the Count's eye filled:
    "What's this thou say'st to me?
   Shall I on woman's virtue build,
    Inconstant as the sea?
   The flatterer's mouth with ease may lure;
   My trust is placed on ground more sure.
   No one, methinks, dare ever burn
   To tempt the wife of Count Savern."

   The other spoke: "Thou sayest it well,
    The fool deserves thy scorn
   Who ventures on such thoughts to dwell,
    A mere retainer born,--
   Who to the lady he obeys
   Fears not his wishes' lust to raise."--
   "What!" tremblingly the Count began,
   "Dost speak, then, of a living man?"--

   "Is, then, the thing, to all revealed,
    Hid from my master's view?
   Yet, since with care from thee concealed,
    I'd fain conceal it too"--
   "Speak quickly, villain! speak or die!"
   Exclaimed the other fearfully.
   "Who dares to look on Cunigond?"
   "'Tis the fair page that is so fond."

   "He's not ill-shaped in form, I wot,"
    He craftily went on;
   The Count meanwhile felt cold and hot,
    By turns in every bone.
   "Is't possible thou seest not, sir,
   How he has eyes for none but her?
   At table ne'er attends to thee,
   But sighs behind her ceaselessly?"

   "Behold the rhymes that from him came
    His passion to confess"--
   "Confess!"--"And for an answering flame,--
    The impious knave!--to press.
   My gracious lady, soft and meek,
   Through pity, doubtless, feared to speak;
   That it has 'scaped me, sore I rue;
   What, lord, canst thou to help it do?"

   Into the neighboring wood then rode
    The Count, inflamed with wrath,
   Where, in his iron foundry, glowed
    The ore, and bubbled forth.
   The workmen here, with busy hand,
   The fire both late and early fanned.
   The sparks fly out, the bellows ply,
   As if the rock to liquefy.

   The fire and water's might twofold
    Are here united found;
   The mill-wheel, by the flood seized hold,
    Is whirling round and round;
   The works are clattering night and day,
   With measured stroke the hammers play,
   And, yielding to the mighty blows,
   The very iron plastic grows.

   Then to two workmen beckons he,
    And speaks thus in his ire;
   "The first who's hither sent by me
    Thus of ye to inquire
   'Have ye obeyed my lord's word well?'
   Him cast ye into yonder hell,
   That into ashes he may fly,
   And ne'er again torment mine eye!"

   The inhuman pair were overjoyed,
    With devilish glee possessed
   For as the iron, feeling void,
    Their heart was in their breast,
   And brisker with the bellows' blast,
   The foundry's womb now heat they fast,
   And with a murderous mind prepare
   To offer up the victim there.

   Then Robert to his comrade spake,
    With false hypocrisy:
   "Up, comrade, up! no tarrying make!
    Our lord has need of thee."
   The lord to Fridolin then said:
   "The pathway toward the foundry tread,
   And of the workmen there inquire,
   If they have done their lord's desire."

   The other answered, "Be it so!"
    But o'er him came this thought,
   When he was all-prepared to go,
    "Will she command me aught?"
   So to the Countess straight he went:
   "I'm to the iron-foundry sent;
   Then say, can I do aught for thee?
   For thou 'tis who commandest me."

   To this the Lady of Savern
    Replied in gentle tone:
   "To hear the holy mass I yearn,
    For sick now lies my son;
   So go, my child, and when thou'rt there,
   Utter for me a humble prayer,
   And of thy sins think ruefully,
   That grace may also fall on me."

   And in this welcome duty glad,
    He quickly left the place;
   But ere the village bounds he had
    Attained with rapid pace,
   The sound of bells struck on his ear,
   From the high belfry ringing clear,
   And every sinner, mercy-sent,
   Inviting to the sacrament.

   "Never from praising God refrain
    Where'er by thee He's found!"
   He spoke, and stepped into the fane,
    But there he heard no sound;
   For 'twas the harvest time, and now
   Glowed in the fields the reaper's brow;
   No choristers were gathered there,
   The duties of the mass to share.

   The matter paused he not to weigh,
    But took the sexton's part;
   "That thing," he said, "makes no delay
    Which heavenward guides the heart."
   Upon the priest, with helping hand,
   He placed the stole and sacred band,
   The vessels he prepared beside,
   That for the mass were sanctified.

   And when his duties here were o'er,
    Holding the mass-book, he,
   Ministering to the priest, before
    The altar bowed his knee,
   And knelt him left, and knelt him right,
   While not a look escaped his sight,
   And when the holy Sanctus came,
   The bell thrice rang he at the name.

   And when the priest, bowed humbly too,
    In hand uplifted high,
   Facing the altar, showed to view
    The present Deity,
   The sacristan proclaimed it well,
   Sounding the clearly-tinkling bell,
   While all knelt down, and beat the breast,
   And with a cross the Host confessed.

   The rites thus served he, leaving none,
    With quick and ready wit;
   Each thing that in God's house is done,
    He also practised it.
   Unweariedly he labored thus,
   Till the Vobiscum Dominus,
   When toward the people turned the priest,
   Blessed them,--and so the service ceased.

   Then he disposed each thing again,
    In fair and due array;
   First purified the holy fane,
    And then he went his way,
   And gladly, with a mind at rest,
   On to the iron-foundry pressed,
   Saying the while, complete to be,
   Twelve paternosters silently.

   And when he saw the furnace smoke,
    And saw the workmen stand,
   "Have ye, ye fellows," thus he spoke,
    "Obeyed the Count's command?"
   Grinning they ope the orifice,
   And point into the fell abyss:
   "He's cared for--all is at an end!
   The Count his servants will commend."

   The answer to his lord he brought,
    Returning hastily,
   Who, when his form his notice caught,
    Could scarcely trust his eye:
   "Unhappy one! whence comest thou?"--
   "Back from the foundry"--"Strange, I vow!
   Hast in thy journey, then, delayed?"--
   "'Twas only, lord, till I had prayed."

   "For when I from thy presence went
    (Oh pardon me!) to-day,
   As duty bid, my steps I bent
    To her whom I obey.
   She told me, lord, the mass to hear,
   I gladly to her wish gave ear,
   And told four rosaries at the shrine,
   For her salvation and for thine."

   In wonder deep the Count now fell,
    And, shuddering, thus spake he:
   "And, at the foundry, quickly tell,
    What answer gave they thee?"
   "Obscure the words they answered in,--
   Showing the furnace with a grin:
   'He's cared for--all is at an end!
   The Count his servants will commend.'"

   "And Robert?" interrupted he,
    While deadly pale he stood,--
   "Did he not, then, fall in with thee?
    I sent him to the wood."--
   "Lord, neither in the wood nor field
   Was trace of Robert's foot revealed."--
   "Then," cried the Count, with awe-struck mien,
   "Great God in heaven his judge hath been!"

   With kindness he before ne'er proved,
    He led him by the hand
   Up to the Countess,--deeply moved,--
    Who naught could understand.
   "This child, let him be dear to thee,
   No angel is so pure as he!
   Though we may have been counselled ill,
   God and His hosts watch o'er him still."




     THE GENIUS WITH THE INVERTED TORCH.

Lovely he looks, 'tis true, with the light of his torch now extinguished;
But remember that death is not aesthetic, my friends!




        THE COUNT OF HAPSBURG. [38]

            A BALLAD.

   At Aix-la-Chapelle, in imperial array,
    In its halls renowned in old story,
   At the coronation banquet so gay
    King Rudolf was sitting in glory.
   The meats were served up by the Palsgrave of Rhine,
   The Bohemian poured out the bright sparkling wine,
    And all the Electors, the seven,
   Stood waiting around the world-governing one,
   As the chorus of stars encircle the sun,
    That honor might duly be given.

   And the people the lofty balcony round
    In a throng exulting were filling;
   While loudly were blending the trumpets' glad sound,
    The multitude's voices so thrilling;
   For the monarchless period, with horror rife,
   Has ended now, after long baneful strife,
    And the earth had a lord to possess her.
   No longer ruled blindly the iron-bound spear,
   And the weak and the peaceful no longer need fear
    Being crushed by the cruel oppressor.

   And the emperor speaks with a smile in his eye,
    While the golden goblet he seizes:
   "With this banquet in glory none other can vie,
    And my regal heart well it pleases;
   Yet the minstrel, the bringer of joy, is not here,
   Whose melodious strains to my heart are so dear,
    And whose words heavenly wisdom inspire;
   Since the days of my youth it hath been my delight,
   And that which I ever have loved as a knight,
    As a monarch I also require."

   And behold! 'mongst the princes who stand round the throne
    Steps the bard, in his robe long and streaming,
   While, bleached by the years that have over him flown,
    His silver locks brightly are gleaming;
   "Sweet harmony sleeps in the golden strings,
   The minstrel of true love reward ever sings,
    And adores what to virtue has tended--
   What the bosom may wish, what the senses hold dear;
   But say, what is worthy the emperor's ear
    At this, of all feasts the most splendid?"

   "No restraint would I place on the minstrel's own choice,"
    Speaks the monarch, a smile on each feature;
   "He obeys the swift hour's imperious voice,
    Of a far greater lord is the creature.
   For, as through the air the storm-wind on-speeds,--
   One knows not from whence its wild roaring proceeds--
    As the spring from hid sources up-leaping,
   So the lay of the bard from the inner heart breaks
   While the might of sensations unknown it awakes,
    That within us were wondrously sleeping."

   Then the bard swept the cords with a finger of might,
    Evoking their magical sighing:
   "To the chase once rode forth a valorous knight,
    In pursuit of the antelope flying.
   His hunting-spear bearing, there came in his train
   His squire; and when o'er a wide-spreading plain
    On his stately steed he was riding,
   He heard in the distance a bell tinkling clear,
   And a priest, with the Host, he saw soon drawing near,
    While before him the sexton was striding."

   "And low to the earth the Count then inclined,
    Bared his head in humble submission,
   To honor, with trusting and Christian-like mind,
    What had saved the whole world from perdition.
   But a brook o'er the plain was pursuing its course,
   That swelled by the mountain stream's headlong force,
    Barred the wanderer's steps with its current;
   So the priest on one side the blest sacrament put,
   And his sandal with nimbleness drew from his foot,
    That he safely might pass through the torrent."

   "'What wouldst thou?' the Count to him thus began,
    His wondering look toward him turning:
   'My journey is, lord, to a dying man,
    Who for heavenly diet is yearning;
   But when to the bridge o'er the brook I came nigh,
   In the whirl of the stream, as it madly rushed by
    With furious might 'twas uprooted.
   And so, that the sick the salvation may find
   That he pants for, I hasten with resolute mind
    To wade through the waters barefooted.'"

   "Then the Count made him mount on his stately steed,
    And the reins to his hands he confided,
   That he duly might comfort the sick in his need,
    And that each holy rite be provided.
   And himself, on the back of the steed of his squire,
   Went after the chase to his heart's full desire,
    While the priest on his journey was speeding
   And the following morning, with thankful look,
   To the Count once again his charger he took,
    Its bridle with modesty leading."

   "'God forbid that in chase or in battle,' then cried
    The Count with humility lowly,
   'The steed I henceforward should dare to bestride
    That had borne my Creator so holy!
   And if, as a guerdon, he may not be thine,
   He devoted shall be to the service divine,
    Proclaiming His infinite merit,
   From whom I each honor and earthly good
   Have received in fee, and my body and blood,
    And my breath, and my life, and my spirit.'"

   "'Then may God, the sure rock, whom no time can e'er move,
    And who lists to the weak's supplication,
   For the honor thou pay'st Him, permit thee to prove
    Honor here, and hereafter salvation!
   Thou'rt a powerful Count, and thy knightly command
   Hath blazoned thy fame through the Switzer's broad land;
    Thou art blest with six daughters admired;
   May they each in thy house introduce a bright crown,
   Filling ages unborn with their glorious renown'--
    Thus exclaimed he in accents inspired."

   And the emperor sat there all-thoughtfully,
    While the dream of the past stood before him;
   And when on the minstrel he turned his eye,
    His words' hidden meaning stole o'er him;
   For seeing the traits of the priest there revealed,
   In the folds of his purple-dyed robe he concealed
    His tears as they swiftly coursed down.
   And all on the emperor wonderingly gazed,
   And the blest dispensations of Providence praised,
    For the Count and the Caesar were one.




        THE FORUM OF WOMAN.

   Woman, never judge man by his individual actions;
   But upon man as a whole, pass thy decisive decree.




        THE GLOVE.

        A TALE.

   Before his lion-court,
   Impatient for the sport,
    King Francis sat one day;
   The peers of his realm sat around,
   And in balcony high from the ground
    Sat the ladies in beauteous array.

   And when with his finger he beckoned,
   The gate opened wide in a second,--
   And in, with deliberate tread,
   Enters a lion dread,
   And looks around
   Yet utters no sound;
   Then long he yawns
    And shakes his mane,
   And, stretching each limb,
    Down lies he again.

   Again signs the king,--
    The next gate open flies,
   And, lo! with a wild spring,
    A tiger out hies.
   When the lion he sees, loudly roars he about,
   And a terrible circle his tail traces out.
   Protruding his tongue, past the lion he walks,
   And, snarling with rage, round him warily stalks:
   Then, growling anew,
   On one side lies down too.

   Again signs the king,--
    And two gates open fly,
   And, lo! with one spring,
    Two leopards out hie.
   On the tiger they rush, for the fight nothing loth,
   But he with his paws seizes hold of them both.
   And the lion, with roaring, gets up,--then all's still;
   The fierce beasts stalk around, madly thirsting to kill.

   From the balcony raised high above
   A fair hand lets fall down a glove
   Into the lists, where 'tis seen
   The lion and tiger between.

   To the knight, Sir Delorges, in tone of jest,
    Then speaks young Cunigund fair;
   "Sir Knight, if the love that thou feel'st in thy breast
    Is as warm as thou'rt wont at each moment to swear,
    Pick up, I pray thee, the glove that lies there!"

   And the knight, in a moment, with dauntless tread,
    Jumps into the lists, nor seeks to linger,
   And, from out the midst of those monsters dread,
    Picks up the glove with a daring finger.

   And the knights and ladies of high degree
   With wonder and horror the action see,
   While he quietly brings in his hand the glove,
    The praise of his courage each mouth employs;
   Meanwhile, with a tender look of love,
    The promise to him of coming joys,
   Fair Cunigund welcomes him back to his place.
   But he threw the glove point-blank in her face:
   "Lady, no thanks from thee I'll receive!"
   And that selfsame hour he took his leave.




        THE CIRCLE OF NATURE.

   All, thou gentle one, lies embraced in thy kingdom; the graybeard
   Back to the days of his youth, childish and child-like, returns.




        THE VEILED STATUE AT SAIS.

   A youth, impelled by a burning thirst for knowledge
   To roam to Sais, in fair Egypt's land,
   The priesthood's secret learning to explore,
   Had passed through many a grade with eager haste,
   And still was hurrying on with fond impatience.
   Scarce could the Hierophant impose a rein
   Upon his headlong efforts. "What avails
   A part without the whole?" the youth exclaimed;
   "Can there be here a lesser or a greater?
   The truth thou speak'st of, like mere earthly dross,
   Is't but a sum that can be held by man
   In larger or in smaller quantity?
   Surely 'tis changeless, indivisible;
   Deprive a harmony of but one note,
   Deprive the rainbow of one single color,
   And all that will remain is naught, so long
   As that one color, that one note, is wanting."

   While thus they converse held, they chanced to stand
   Within the precincts of a lonely temple,
   Where a veiled statue of gigantic size
   The youth's attention caught. In wonderment
   He turned him toward his guide, and asked him, saying,
   "What form is that concealed beneath yon veil?"
   "Truth!" was the answer. "What!" the young man cried,
   "When I am striving after truth alone,
   Seekest thou to hide that very truth from me?"

   "The Godhead's self alone can answer thee,"
   Replied the Hierophant. "'Let no rash mortal
   Disturb this veil,' said he, 'till raised by me;
   For he who dares with sacrilegious hand
   To move the sacred mystic covering,
   He'--said the Godhead--" "Well?"--"'will see the truth.'"
   "Strangely oracular, indeed! And thou
   Hast never ventured, then, to raise the veil?"
   "I? Truly not! I never even felt
   The least desire."--"Is't possible? If I
   Were severed from the truth by nothing else
   Than this thin gauze--" "And a divine decree,"
   His guide broke in. "Far heavier than thou thinkest
   Is this thin gauze, my son. Light to thy hand
   It may be--but most weighty to thy conscience."

   The youth now sought his home, absorbed in thought;
   His burning wish to solve the mystery
   Banished all sleep; upon his couch he lay,
   Tossing his feverish limbs. When midnight came,
   He rose, and toward the temple timidly,
   Led by a mighty impulse, bent his way.
   The walls he scaled, and soon one active spring
   Landed the daring boy beneath the dome.

   Behold him now, in utter solitude,
   Welcomed by naught save fearful, deathlike silence,--
   A silence which the echo of his steps
   Alone disturbs, as through the vaults he paces.
   Piercing an opening in the cupola,
   The moon cast down her pale and silvery beams,
   And, awful as a present deity,
   Glittering amid the darkness of the pile,
   In its long veil concealed, the statue stands.

   With hesitating step, he now draws near--
   His impious hand would fain remove the veil--
   Sudden a burning chill assails his bones
   And then an unseen arm repulses him.
   "Unhappy one, what wouldst thou do?" Thus cries
   A faithful voice within his trembling breast.
   "Wouldst thou profanely violate the All-Holy?"
   "'Tis true the oracle declared, 'Let none
   Venture to raise the veil till raised by me.'
   But did the oracle itself not add,
   That he who did so would behold the truth?
   Whate'er is hid behind, I'll raise the veil."
   And then he shouted: "Yes! I will behold it!"
             "Behold it!"
   Repeats in mocking tone the distant echo.

   He speaks, and, with the word, lifts up the veil.
   Would you inquire what form there met his eye?
   I know not,--but, when day appeared, the priests
   Found him extended senseless, pale as death,
   Before the pedestal of Isis' statue.
   What had been seen and heard by him when there
   He never would disclose, but from that hour
   His happiness in life had fled forever,
   And his deep sorrow soon conducted him
   To an untimely grave. "Woe to that man,"
   He warning said to every questioner,
   "Woe to that man who wins the truth by guilt,
   For truth so gained will ne'er reward its owner."




       THE DIVISION OF THE EARTH.

   "Take the world!" Zeus exclaimed from his throne in the skies
    To the children of man--"take the world I now give;
   It shall ever remain as your heirloom and prize,
    So divide it as brothers, and happily live."

   Then all who had hands sought their share to obtain,
    The young and the aged made haste to appear;
   The husbandman seized on the fruits of the plain,
    The youth through the forest pursued the fleet deer.

   The merchant took all that his warehouse could hold,
    The abbot selected the last year's best wine,
   The king barred the bridges,--the highways controlled,
    And said, "Now remember, the tithes shall be mine!"

   But when the division long-settled had been,
    The poet drew nigh from a far distant land;
   But alas! not a remnant was now to be seen,
    Each thing on the earth owned a master's command.

   "Alas! shall then I, of thy sons the most true,--
    Shall I, 'mongst them all, be forgotten alone?"
   Thus loudly he cried in his anguish, and threw
    Himself in despair before Jupiter's throne.

   "If thou in the region of dreams didst delay,
    Complain not of me," the Immortal replied;
   "When the world was apportioned, where then wert thou, pray?"
    "I was," said the poet, "I was--by thy side!"

   "Mine eye was then fixed on thy features so bright,
    Mine ear was entranced by thy harmony's power;
   Oh, pardon the spirit that, awed by thy light,
    All things of the earth could forget in that hour!"

   "What to do?" Zeus exclaimed,--"for the world has been given;
    The harvest, the market, the chase, are not free;
   But if thou with me wilt abide in my heaven,
    Whenever thou comest, 'twill be open to thee!"





        THE FAIREST APPARITION.

   If thou never hast gazed upon beauty in moments of sorrow,
    Thou canst with truth never boast that thou true beauty hast seen.
   If thou never hast gazed upon gladness in beauteous features,
    Thou canst with truth never boast that thou true gladness hast seen.




     THE IDEAL AND THE ACTUAL LIFE.

   Forever fair, forever calm and bright,
   Life flies on plumage, zephyr-light,
    For those who on the Olympian hill rejoice--
   Moons wane, and races wither to the tomb,
   And 'mid the universal ruin, bloom
    The rosy days of Gods--With man, the choice,
   Timid and anxious, hesitates between
    The sense's pleasure and the soul's content;
   While on celestial brows, aloft and sheen,
    The beams of both are blent.

   Seekest thou on earth the life of gods to share,
   Safe in the realm of death?--beware
    To pluck the fruits that glitter to thine eye;
   Content thyself with gazing on their glow--
   Short are the joys possession can bestow,
    And in possession sweet desire will die.
   'Twas not the ninefold chain of waves that bound
    Thy daughter, Ceres, to the Stygian river--
   She plucked the fruit of the unholy ground,
    And so--was hell's forever!
   The weavers of the web--the fates--but sway
   The matter and the things of clay;
    Safe from change that time to matter gives,
   Nature's blest playmate, free at will to stray
   With gods a god, amidst the fields of day,
    The form, the archetype [39], serenely lives.
   Would'st thou soar heavenward on its joyous wing?
    Cast from thee, earth, the bitter and the real,
   High from this cramped and dungeon being, spring
    Into the realm of the ideal!

   Here, bathed, perfection, in thy purest ray,
   Free from the clogs and taints of clay,
    Hovers divine the archetypal man!
   Dim as those phantom ghosts of life that gleam
   And wander voiceless by the Stygian stream,--
    Fair as it stands in fields Elysian,
   Ere down to flesh the immortal doth descend:--
    If doubtful ever in the actual life
   Each contest--here a victory crowns the end
    Of every nobler strife.

   Not from the strife itself to set thee free,
   But more to nerve--doth victory
    Wave her rich garland from the ideal clime.
   Whate'er thy wish, the earth has no repose--
   Life still must drag thee onward as it flows,
    Whirling thee down the dancing surge of time.
   But when the courage sinks beneath the dull
    Sense of its narrow limits--on the soul,
   Bright from the hill-tops of the beautiful,
    Bursts the attained goal!

   If worth thy while the glory and the strife
   Which fire the lists of actual life--
    The ardent rush to fortune or to fame,
   In the hot field where strength and valor are,
   And rolls the whirling thunder of the car,
    And the world, breathless, eyes the glorious game--
   Then dare and strive--the prize can but belong
    To him whose valor o'er his tribe prevails;
   In life the victory only crowns the strong--
    He who is feeble fails.

   But life, whose source, by crags around it piled,
   Chafed while confined, foams fierce and wild,
    Glides soft and smooth when once its streams expand,
   When its waves, glassing in their silver play,
   Aurora blent with Hesper's milder ray,
    Gain the still beautiful--that shadow-land!
   Here, contest grows but interchange of love,
    All curb is but the bondage of the grace;
   Gone is each foe,--peace folds her wings above
    Her native dwelling-place.

   When, through dead stone to breathe a soul of light,
   With the dull matter to unite
    The kindling genius, some great sculptor glows;
   Behold him straining, every nerve intent--
   Behold how, o'er the subject element,
    The stately thought its march laborious goes!
   For never, save to toil untiring, spoke
    The unwilling truth from her mysterious well--
   The statue only to the chisel's stroke
    Wakes from its marble cell.

   But onward to the sphere of beauty--go
   Onward, O child of art! and, lo!
    Out of the matter which thy pains control
   The statue springs!--not as with labor wrung
   From the hard block, but as from nothing sprung--
    Airy and light--the offspring of the soul!
   The pangs, the cares, the weary toils it cost
    Leave not a trace when once the work is done--
   The Artist's human frailty merged and lost
    In art's great victory won! [40]

   If human sin confronts the rigid law
   Of perfect truth and virtue [41], awe
    Seizes and saddens thee to see how far
   Beyond thy reach, perfection;--if we test
   By the ideal of the good, the best,
    How mean our efforts and our actions are!
   This space between the ideal of man's soul
    And man's achievement, who hath ever past?
   An ocean spreads between us and that goal,
    Where anchor ne'er was cast!

   But fly the boundary of the senses--live
   The ideal life free thought can give;
    And, lo, the gulf shall vanish, and the chill
   Of the soul's impotent despair be gone!
   And with divinity thou sharest the throne,
    Let but divinity become thy will!
   Scorn not the law--permit its iron band
    The sense (it cannot chain the soul) to thrall.
   Let man no more the will of Jove withstand [42],
    And Jove the bolt lets fall!

   If, in the woes of actual human life--
   If thou could'st see the serpent strife
    Which the Greek art has made divine in stone--
   Could'st see the writhing limbs, the livid cheek,
   Note every pang, and hearken every shriek,
    Of some despairing lost Laocoon,
   The human nature would thyself subdue
    To share the human woe before thine eye--
   Thy cheek would pale, and all thy soul be true
    To man's great sympathy.

   But in the ideal realm, aloof and far,
   Where the calm art's pure dwellers are,
    Lo, the Laocoon writhes, but does not groan.
   Here, no sharp grief the high emotion knows--
   Here, suffering's self is made divine, and shows
    The brave resolve of the firm soul alone:
   Here, lovely as the rainbow on the dew
    Of the spent thunder-cloud, to art is given,
   Gleaming through grief's dark veil, the peaceful blue
    Of the sweet moral heaven.

   So, in the glorious parable, behold
   How, bowed to mortal bonds, of old
    Life's dreary path divine Alcides trod:
   The hydra and the lion were his prey,
   And to restore the friend he loved to-day,
    He went undaunted to the black-browed god;
   And all the torments and the labors sore
    Wroth Juno sent--the meek majestic one,
   With patient spirit and unquailing, bore,
    Until the course was run--

   Until the god cast down his garb of clay,
   And rent in hallowing flame away
    The mortal part from the divine--to soar
   To the empyreal air! Behold him spring
   Blithe in the pride of the unwonted wing,
    And the dull matter that confined before
   Sinks downward, downward, downward as a dream!
    Olympian hymns receive the escaping soul,
   And smiling Hebe, from the ambrosial stream,
    Fills for a god the bowl!




        GERMANY AND HER PRINCES.

   Thou hast produced mighty monarchs, of whom thou art not unworthy,
    For the obedient alone make him who governs them great.
   But, O Germany, try if thou for thy rulers canst make it
    Harder as kings to be great,--easier, though, to be men!




        DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES.

   Deeper and bolder truths be careful, my friends, of avowing;
   For as soon as ye do all the world on ye will fall.




     THE MAIDEN FROM AFAR.

      (OR FROM ABROAD.)

   Within a vale, each infant year,
    When earliest larks first carol free,
   To humble shepherds cloth appear
    A wondrous maiden, fair to see.
   Not born within that lowly place--
    From whence she wandered, none could tell;
   Her parting footsteps left no trace,
    When once the maiden sighed farewell.

   And blessed was her presence there--
    Each heart, expanding, grew more gay;
   Yet something loftier still than fair
    Kept man's familiar looks away.
   From fairy gardens, known to none,
    She brought mysterious fruits and flowers--
   The things of some serener sun--
    Some Nature more benign than ours.

   With each her gifts the maiden shared--
    To some the fruits, the flowers to some;
   Alike the young, the aged fared;
    Each bore a blessing back to home.
   Though every guest was welcome there,
    Yet some the maiden held more dear,
   And culled her rarest sweets whene'er
    She saw two hearts that loved draw near. [43]




         THE HONORABLE.

   Ever honor the whole; individuals only I honor;
   In individuals I always discover the whole.




     PARABLES AND RIDDLES.

          I.

   A bridge of pearls its form uprears
    High o'er a gray and misty sea;
   E'en in a moment it appears,
    And rises upwards giddily.

   Beneath its arch can find a road
    The loftiest vessel's mast most high,
   Itself hath never borne a load,
    And seems, when thou draw'st near, to fly.

   It comes first with the stream, and goes
    Soon as the watery flood is dried.
   Where may be found this bridge, disclose,
    And who its beauteous form supplied!

          II.

   It bears thee many a mile away,
    And yet its place it changes ne'er;
   It has no pinions to display,
    And yet conducts thee through the air.

   It is the bark of swiftest motion
    That every weary wanderer bore;
   With speed of thought the greatest ocean
    It carries thee in safety o'er;
    One moment wafts thee to the shore.

         III.

   Upon a spacious meadow play
    Thousands of sheep, of silvery hue;
   And as we see them move to-day,
    The man most aged saw them too.

   They ne'er grow old, and, from a rill
    That never dries, their life is drawn;
   A shepherd watches o'er them still,
    With curved and beauteous silver horn.

   He drives them out through gates of gold,
    And every night their number counts;
   Yet ne'er has lost, of all his fold,
    One lamb, though oft that path he mounts.

   A hound attends him faithfully,
    A nimble ram precedes the way;
   Canst thou point out that flock to me,
    And who the shepherd, canst thou say?

          IV.

   There stands a dwelling, vast and tall,
    On unseen columns fair;
   No wanderer treads or leaves its hall,
    And none can linger there.

   Its wondrous structure first was planned
    With art no mortal knows;
   It lights the lamps with its own hand
    'Mongst which it brightly glows.

   It has a roof, as crystal bright,
    Formed of one gem of dazzling light;
   Yet mortal eye has ne'er
    Seen Him who placed it there.

          V.

   Within a well two buckets lie,
    One mounts, and one descends;
   When one is full, and rises high,
    The other downward wends.

   They wander ever to and fro--
   Now empty are, now overflow.
   If to the mouth thou liftest this,
   That hangs within the dark abyss.
   In the same moment they can ne'er
   Refresh thee with their treasures fair.

           VI.

   Know'st thou the form on tender ground?
    It gives itself its glow, its light;
   And though each moment changing found.
    Is ever whole and ever bright.
   In narrow compass 'tis confined,
    Within the smallest frame it lies;
   Yet all things great that move thy mind,
    That form alone to thee supplies.

   And canst thou, too, the crystal name?
    No gem can equal it in worth;
   It gleams, yet kindles near to flame,
    It sucks in even all the earth.
   Within its bright and wondrous ring
    Is pictured forth the glow of heaven,
   And yet it mirrors back each thing
    Far fairer than to it 'twas given.

            VII.

   For ages an edifice here has been found,
    It is not a dwelling, it is not a Pane;
   A horseman for hundreds of days may ride round,
    Yet the end of his journey he ne'er can attain.

   Full many a century o'er it has passed,
    The might of the storm and of time it defies!
   Neath the rainbow of Heaven stands free to the last,--
    In the ocean it dips, and soars up to the skies.

   It was not vain glory that bade its erection,
   It serves as a refuge, a shield, a protection;
   Its like on the earth never yet has been known
   And yet by man's hand it is fashioned alone.

         VIII.

   Among all serpents there is one,
    Born of no earthly breed;
   In fury wild it stands alone,
    And in its matchless speed.

   With fearful voice and headlong force
    It rushes on its prey,
   And sweeps the rider and his horse
    In one fell swoop away.

   The highest point it loves to gain;
    And neither bar nor lock
   Its fiery onslaught can restrain;
    And arms--invite its shock.

   It tears in twain like tender grass,
    The strongest forest-trees;
   It grinds to dust the hardened brass,
    Though stout and firm it be.

   And yet this beast, that none can tame,
    Its threat ne'er twice fulfils;
   It dies in its self-kindled flame.
    And dies e'en when it kills.

          IX.

   We children six our being had
    From a most strange and wondrous pair,--
   Our mother ever grave and sad,
    Our father ever free from care.

   Our virtues we from both receive,--
    Meekness from her, from him our light;
   And so in endless youth we weave
    Round thee a circling figure bright.

   We ever shun the caverns black,
    And revel in the glowing day;
   'Tis we who light the world's dark track,
    With our life's clear and magic ray.

   Spring's joyful harbingers are we,
    And her inspiring streams we swell;
   And so the house of death we flee,
    For life alone must round us dwell.

   Without us is no perfect bliss,
    When man is glad, we, too, attend,
   And when a monarch worshipped is,
    To him our majesty attend.

          X.

   What is the thing esteemed by few?
    The monarch's hand it decks with pride,
   Yet it is made to injure too,
    And to the sword is most allied.

   No blood it sheds, yet many a wound
    Inflicts,--gives wealth, yet takes from none;
   Has vanquished e'en the earth's wide round,
    And makes life's current smoothly run.

   The greatest kingdoms it has framed,
    The oldest cities reared from dust,
   Yet war's fierce torch has ne'er inflamed;
    Happy are they who in it trust!

          XI.

   I live within a dwelling of stone,
    There buried in slumber I dally;
   Yet, armed with a weapon of iron alone,
    The foe to encounter I sally.
   At first I'm invisible, feeble, and mean,
    And o'er me thy breath has dominion;
   I'm easily drowned in a raindrop e'en,
    Yet in victory waxes my pinion.
   When my sister, all-powerful, gives me her hand,
   To the terrible lord of the world I expand.

         XII.

   Upon a disk my course I trace,
    There restlessly forever flit;
   Small is the circuit I embrace,
    Two hands suffice to cover it.
   Yet ere that field I traverse, I
    Full many a thousand mile must go,
   E'en though with tempest-speed I fly,
    Swifter than arrow from a bow.

         XIII.

   A bird it is, whose rapid motion
    With eagle's flight divides the air;
   A fish it is, and parts the ocean,
    That bore a greater monster ne'er;
   An elephant it is, whose rider
    On his broad back a tower has put:
   'Tis like the reptile base, the spider,
    Whenever it extends its foot;
   And when, with iron tooth projecting,
    It seeks its own life-blood to drain,
   On footing firm, itself erecting,
    It braves the raging hurricane.




        THE VIRTUE OF WOMAN.

   Man of virtue has need;-into life with boldness he plunges,
    Entering with fortune more sure into the hazardous strife;
   But to woman one virtue suffices; it is ever shining
    Lovingly forth to the heart; so let it shine to the eye!




             THE WALK.

 Hail to thee, mountain beloved, with thy glittering purple-dyed summit!
  Hail to thee also, fair sun, looking so lovingly on!
 Thee, too, I hail, thou smiling plain, and ye murmuring lindens,
  Ay, and the chorus so glad, cradled on yonder high boughs;
 Thee, too, peaceably azure, in infinite measure extending
  Round the dusky-hued mount, over the forest so green,--
 Round about me, who now from my chamber's confinement escaping,
  And from vain frivolous talk, gladly seek refuge with thee.
 Through me to quicken me runs the balsamic stream of thy breezes,
  While the energetical light freshens the gaze as it thirsts.
 Bright o'er the blooming meadow the changeable colors are gleaming,
  But the strife, full of charms, in its own grace melts away
 Freely the plain receives me,--with carpet far away reaching,
  Over its friendly green wanders the pathway along.
 Round me is humming the busy bee, and with pinion uncertain
  Hovers the butterfly gay over the trefoil's red flower.
 Fiercely the darts of the sun fall on me,--the zephyr is silent,
  Only the song of the lark echoes athwart the clear air.
 Now from the neighboring copse comes a roar, and the tops of the alders
  Bend low down,--in the wind dances the silvery grass;
 Night ambrosial circles me round; in the coolness so fragrant
  Greets me a beauteous roof, formed by the beeches' sweet shade.
 In the depths of the wood the landscape suddenly leaves me
  And a serpentine path guides up my footsteps on high.
 Only by stealth can the light through the leafy trellis of branches
  Sparingly pierce, and the blue smilingly peeps through the boughs,
 But in a moment the veil is rent, and the opening forest
  Suddenly gives back the day's glittering brightness to me!
 Boundlessly seems the distance before my gaze to be stretching,
  And in a purple-tinged hill terminates sweetly the world.

 Deep at the foot of the mountain, that under me falls away steeply,
  Wanders the greenish-hued stream, looking like glass as it flows.
 Endlessly under me see I the ether, and endlessly o'er
  Giddily look I above, shudderingly look I below,
 But between the infinite height and the infinite hollow
  Safely the wanderer moves over a well-guarded path.
 Smilingly past me are flying the banks all teeming with riches,
  And the valley so bright boasts of its industry glad.
 See how yonder hedgerows that sever the farmer's possessions
  Have by Demeter been worked into the tapestried plain!
 Kindly decree of the law, of the Deity mortal-sustaining,
  Since from the brazen world love vanished forever away.
 But in freer windings the measured pastures are traversed
  (Now swallowed up in the wood, now climbing up to the hills)
 By a glimmering streak, the highway that knits lands together;
  Over the smooth-flowing stream, quietly glide on the rafts.

 Ofttimes resound the bells of the flocks in the fields that seem living,
  And the shepherd's lone song wakens the echo again.
 Joyous villages crown the stream, in the copse others vanish,
  While from the back of the mount, others plunge wildly below.
 Man still lives with the land in neighborly friendship united,
  And round his sheltering roof calmly repose still his fields;
 Trustingly climbs the vine high over the low-reaching window,
  While round the cottage the tree circles its far-stretching boughs.
 Happy race of the plain! Not yet awakened to freedom,
  Thou and thy pastures with joy share in the limited law;
 Bounded thy wishes all are by the harvest's peaceable circuit,
  And thy lifetime is spent e'en as the task of the day!

 But what suddenly hides the beauteous view? A strange spirit
  Over the still-stranger plain spreads itself quickly afar--
 Coyly separates now, what scarce had lovingly mingled,
  And 'tis the like that alone joins itself on to the like.
 Orders I see depicted; the haughty tribes of the poplars
  Marshalled in regular pomp, stately and beauteous appear.
 All gives token of rule and choice, and all has its meaning,--
  'Tis this uniform plan points out the Ruler to me.
 Brightly the glittering domes in far-away distance proclaim him.
  Out of the kernel of rocks rises the city's high wall.
 Into the desert without, the fauns of the forest are driven,
  But by devotion is lent life more sublime to the stone.
 Man is brought into nearer union with man, and around him
  Closer, more actively wakes, swifter moves in him the world.
 See! the emulous forces in fiery conflict are kindled,
  Much, they effect when they strive, more they effect when they join.
 Thousands of hands by one spirit are moved, yet in thousands of bosoms
  Beats one heart all alone, by but one feeling inspired--
 Beats for their native land, and glows for their ancestors' precepts;
  Here on the well-beloved spot, rest now time-honored bones.

 Down from the heavens descends the blessed troop of immortals,
  In the bright circle divine making their festal abode;
 Granting glorious gifts, they appear: and first of all, Ceres
  Offers the gift of the plough, Hermes the anchor brings next,
 Bacchus the grape, and Minerva the verdant olive-tree's branches,
  Even his charger of war brings there Poseidon as well.
 Mother Cybele yokes to the pole of her chariot the lions,
  And through the wide-open door comes as a citizen in.
 Sacred stones! 'Tis from ye that proceed humanity's founders,
  Morals and arts ye sent forth, e'en to the ocean's far isles.
 'Twas at these friendly gates that the law was spoken by sages;
  In their Penates' defence, heroes rushed out to the fray.
 On the high walls appeared the mothers, embracing their infants,
  Looking after the march, till the distance 'twas lost.
 Then in prayer they threw themselves down at the deities' altars,
  Praying for triumph and fame, praying for your safe return.
 Honor and triumph were yours, but naught returned save your glory,
  And by a heart-touching stone, told are your valorous deeds.
 "Traveller! when thou com'st to Sparta, proclaim to the people
  That thou hast seen us lie here, as by the law we were bid."
 Slumber calmly, ye loved ones! for sprinkled o'er by your life-blood,
  Flourish the olive-trees there, joyously sprouts the good seed.
 In its possessions exulting, industry gladly is kindled.
  And from the sedge of the stream smilingly signs the blue god.
 Crushingly falls the axe on the tree, the Dryad sighs sadly;
  Down from the crest of the mount plunges the thundering load.
 Winged by the lever, the stone from the rocky crevice is loosened;
  Into the mountain's abyss boldly the miner descends.
 Mulciber's anvil resounds with the measured stroke of the hammer;
  Under the fist's nervous blow, spurt out the sparks of the steel.
 Brilliantly twines the golden flax round the swift-whirling spindles,
  Through the strings of the yarn whizzes the shuttle away.

 Far in the roads the pilot calls, and the vessels are waiting,
  That to the foreigner's land carry the produce of home;
 Others gladly approach with the treasures of far-distant regions,
  High on the mast's lofty head flutters the garland of mirth.
 See how yon markets, those centres of life and of gladness, are swarming!
  Strange confusion of tongues sounds in the wondering ear.
 On to the pile the wealth of the earth is heaped by the merchant,
  All that the sun's scorching rays bring forth on Africa's soil,
 All that Arabia prepares, that the uttermost Thule produces,
  High with heart-gladdening stores fills Amalthea her horn.
 Fortune wedded to talent gives birth there to children immortal,
  Suckled in liberty's arms, flourish the arts there of joy.
 With the image of life the eyes by the sculptor are ravished,
  And by the chisel inspired, speaks e'en the sensitive stone.
 Skies artificial repose on slender Ionian columns,
  And a Pantheon includes all that Olympus contains.
 Light as the rainbow's spring through the air, as the dart from
                          the bowstring,
  Leaps the yoke of the bridge over the boisterous stream.

 But in his silent chamber the thoughtful sage is projecting
  Magical circles, and steals e'en on the spirit that forms,
 Proves the force of matter, the hatreds and loves of the magnet,
  Follows the tune through the air, follows through ether the ray,
 Seeks the familiar law in chance's miracles dreaded,
  Looks for the ne'er-changing pole in the phenomena's flight.
 Bodies and voices are lent by writing to thought ever silent,
  Over the centuries' stream bears it the eloquent page.
 Then to the wondering gaze dissolves the cloud of the fancy,
  And the vain phantoms of night yield to the dawning of day.
 Man now breaks through his fetters, the happy one! Oh, let him never
  Break from the bridle of shame, when from fear's fetters he breaks
 Freedom! is reason's cry,--ay, freedom! The wild raging passions
  Eagerly cast off the bonds Nature divine had imposed.

 Ah! in the tempest the anchors break loose, that warningly held him
  On to the shore, and the stream tears him along in its flood,--
 Into infinity whirls him,--the coasts soon vanish before him,
  High on the mountainous waves rocks all-dismasted the bark;
 Under the clouds are hid the steadfast stars of the chariot,
  Naught now remains,--in the breast even the god goes astray.
 Truth disappears from language, from life all faith and all honor
  Vanish, and even the oath is but a lie on the lips.
 Into the heart's most trusty bond, and into love's secrets,
  Presses the sycophant base, tearing the friend from the friend.
 Treason on innocence leers, with looks that seek to devour,
  And the fell slanderer's tooth kills with its poisonous bite.
 In the dishonored bosom, thought is now venal, and love, too,
  Scatters abroad to the winds, feelings once god-like and free.
 All thy holy symbols, O truth, deceit has adopted,
  And has e'en dared to pollute Nature's own voices so fair,
 That the craving heart in the tumult of gladness discovers;
  True sensations are now mute and can scarcely be heard.
 Justice boasts at the tribune, and harmony vaunts in the cottage,
  While the ghost of the law stands at the throne of the king.
 Years together, ay, centuries long, may the mummy continue,
  And the deception endure, apeing the fulness of life.
 Until Nature awakes, and with hands all-brazen and heavy
  'Gainst the hollow-formed pile time and necessity strikes.
 Like a tigress, who, bursting the massive grating iron,
  Of her Numidian wood suddenly, fearfully thinks,--
 So with the fury of crime and anguish, humanity rises
  Hoping nature, long-lost in the town's ashes, to find.
 Oh then open, ye walls, and set the captive at freedom
  To the long desolate plains let him in safety return!

 But where am I? The path is now hid, declivities rugged
  Bar, with their wide-yawning gulfs, progress before and behind.
 Now far behind me is left the gardens' and hedges' sure escort,
  Every trace of man's hand also remains far behind.
 Only the matter I see piled up, whence life has its issue,
  And the raw mass of basalt waits for a fashioning hand.
 Down through its channel of rock the torrent roaringly rushes,
  Angrily forcing a path under the roots of the trees.
 All is here wild and fearfully desolate. Naught but the eagle
  Hangs in the lone realms of air, knitting the world to the clouds.
 Not one zephyr on soaring pinion conveys to my hearing
  Echoes, however remote, marking man's pleasures and pains.
 Am I in truth, then, alone? Within thine arms, on thy bosom,
  Nature, I lie once again!--Ah, and 'twas only a dream
 That assailed me with horrors so fearful; with life's dreaded phantom,
  And with the down-rushing vale, vanished the gloomy one too.
 Purer my life I receive again from thine altar unsullied,--
  Purer receive the bright glow felt by my youth's hopeful days.
 Ever the will is changing its aim and its rule, while forever,
  In a still varying form, actions revolve round themselves.
 But in enduring youth, in beauty ever renewing.
  Kindly Nature, with grace thou dost revere the old law!
 Ever the same, for the man in thy faithful hands thou preservest
  That which the child in its sport, that which the youth lent to thee;
 At the same breast thou dost suckle the ceaselessly-varying ages;
  Under the same azure vault, over the same verdant earth,
 Races, near and remote, in harmony wander together,
  See, even Homer's own sun looks on us, too, with a smile!




          THE LAY OF THE BELL.


   "Vivos voco--Mortuos plango--Fulgura frango." [44]

     Fast, in its prison-walls of earth,
      Awaits the mould of baked clay.
     Up, comrades, up, and aid the birth
      The bell that shall be born to-day!
        Who would honor obtain,
        With the sweat and the pain,
   The praise that man gives to the master must buy.--
   But the blessing withal must descend from on high!

     And well an earnest word beseems
      The work the earnest hand prepares;
     Its load more light the labor deems,
      When sweet discourse the labor shares.
     So let us ponder--nor in vain--
      What strength can work when labor wills;
     For who would not the fool disdain
      Who ne'er designs what he fulfils?
     And well it stamps our human race,
      And hence the gift to understand,
     That man within the heart should trace
      Whate'er he fashions with the hand.

     From the fir the fagot take,
      Keep it, heap it hard and dry,
     That the gathered flame may break
      Through the furnace, wroth and high.
        When the copper within
        Seeths and simmers--the tin,
   Pour quick, that the fluid that feeds the bell
   May flow in the right course glib and well.

     Deep hid within this nether cell,
      What force with fire is moulding thus,
     In yonder airy tower shall dwell,
      And witness wide and far of us!
     It shall, in later days, unfailing,
      Rouse many an ear to rapt emotion;
     Its solemn voice with sorrow wailing,
      Or choral chiming to devotion.
     Whatever fate to man may bring,
      Whatever weal or woe befall,
     That metal tongue shall backward ring,
      The warning moral drawn from all.

     See the silvery bubbles spring!
      Good! the mass is melting now!
     Let the salts we duly bring
      Purge the flood, and speed the flow.
        From the dross and the scum,
        Pure, the fusion must come;
   For perfect and pure we the metal must keep,
   That its voice may be perfect, and pure, and deep.

     That voice, with merry music rife,
      The cherished child shall welcome in;
     What time the rosy dreams of life,
      In the first slumber's arms begin.
     As yet, in Time's dark womb unwarning,
      Repose the days, or foul or fair;
     And watchful o'er that golden morning,
      The mother-love's untiring care!
     And swift the years like arrows fly
     No more with girls content to play,
     Bounds the proud boy upon his way,
     Storms through loud life's tumultuous pleasures,
     With pilgrim staff the wide world measures;
     And, wearied with the wish to roam,
     Again seeks, stranger-like, the father-home.
     And, lo, as some sweet vision breaks
      Out from its native morning skies
     With rosy shame on downcast cheeks,
      The virgin stands before his eyes.

     A nameless longing seizes him!
      From all his wild compassions flown;
     Tears, strange till then, his eyes bedim;
      He wanders all alone.
     Blushing, he glides where'er she move;
      Her greeting can transport him;
     To every mead to deck his love,
      The happy wild flowers court him!
     Sweet hope--and tender longing--ye
      The growth of life's first age of gold;
     When the heart, swelling, seems to see
      The gates of heaven unfold!
   O love, the beautiful and brief! O prime,
   Glory, and verdure, of life's summer time!

     Browning o'er, the pipes are simmering,
      Dip this wand of clay [45] within;
     If like glass the wand be glimmering,
      Then the casting may begin.
        Brisk, brisk now, and see
        If the fusion flow free;
   If--(happy and welcome indeed were the sign!)
   If the hard and the ductile united combine.
   For still where the strong is betrothed to the weak,
   And the stern in sweet marriage is blent with the meek,
    Rings the concord harmonious, both tender and strong
   So be it with thee, if forever united,
   The heart to the heart flows in one, love-delighted;
    Illusion is brief, but repentance is long.

     Lovely, thither are they bringing.
      With the virgin wreath, the bride!
     To the love-feast clearly ringing,
      Tolls the church-bell far and wide!
     With that sweetest holiday,
      Must the May of life depart;
   With the cestus loosed--away
    Flies illusion from the heart!
     Yet love lingers lonely,
      When passion is mute,
     And the blossoms may only
      Give way to the fruit.
     The husband must enter
      The hostile life,
      With struggle and strife
      To plant or to watch.
      To snare or to snatch,
      To pray and importune,
     Must wager and venture
      And hunt down his fortune!
   Then flows in a current the gear and the gain,
   And the garners are filled with the gold of the grain,
   Now a yard to the court, now a wing to the centre!
       Within sits another,
        The thrifty housewife;
       The mild one, the mother--
        Her home is her life.
       In its circle she rules,
       And the daughters she schools
        And she cautions the boys,
       With a bustling command,
       And a diligent hand
        Employed she employs;
       Gives order to store,
       And the much makes the more;
   Locks the chest and the wardrobe, with lavender smelling,
   And the hum of the spindle goes quick through the dwelling;
   And she hoards in the presses, well polished and full,
   The snow of the linen, the shine of the wool;
   Blends the sweet with the good, and from care and endeavor
   Rests never!
     Blithe the master (where the while
     From his roof he sees them smile)
      Eyes the lands, and counts the gain;
     There, the beams projecting far,
     And the laden storehouse are,
     And the granaries bowed beneath
      The blessed golden grain;
     There, in undulating motion,
     Wave the cornfields like an ocean.
     Proud the boast the proud lips breathe:--
     "My house is built upon a rock,
     And sees unmoved the stormy shock
      Of waves that fret below!"
     What chain so strong, what girth so great,
     To bind the giant form of fate?--
      Swift are the steps of woe.

     Now the casting may begin;
      See the breach indented there:
     Ere we run the fusion in,
      Halt--and speed the pious prayer!
        Pull the bung out--
        See around and about
   What vapor, what vapor--God help us!--has risen?--
   Ha! the flame like a torrent leaps forth from its prison!
   What friend is like the might of fire
   When man can watch and wield the ire?
   Whate'er we shape or work, we owe
   Still to that heaven-descended glow.
   But dread the heaven-descended glow,
   When from their chain its wild wings go,
   When, where it listeth, wide and wild
   Sweeps free Nature's free-born child.
   When the frantic one fleets,
    While no force can withstand,
   Through the populous streets
    Whirling ghastly the brand;
   For the element hates
   What man's labor creates,
    And the work of his hand!
   Impartially out from the cloud,
    Or the curse or the blessing may fall!
   Benignantly out from the cloud
    Come the dews, the revivers of all!
   Avengingly out from the cloud
    Come the levin, the bolt, and the ball!
   Hark--a wail from the steeple!--aloud
   The bell shrills its voice to the crowd!
      Look--look--red as blood
        All on high!
   It is not the daylight that fills with its flood
        The sky!
   What a clamor awaking
    Roars up through the street,
   What a hell-vapor breaking.
    Rolls on through the street,
   And higher and higher
   Aloft moves the column of fire!
   Through the vistas and rows
   Like a whirlwind it goes,
   And the air like the stream from the furnace glows.
   Beams are crackling--posts are shrinking
   Walls are sinking--windows clinking--
        Children crying--
        Mothers flying--
   And the beast (the black ruin yet smouldering under)
   Yells the howl of its pain and its ghastly wonder!
   Hurry and skurry--away--away,
   The face of the night is as clear as day!
        As the links in a chain,
        Again and again
   Flies the bucket from hand to hand;
        High in arches up-rushing
        The engines are gushing,
   And the flood, as a beast on the prey that it hounds
   With a roar on the breast of the element bounds.
        To the grain and the fruits,
        Through the rafters and beams,
   Through the barns and garners it crackles and streams!
   As if they would rend up the earth from its roots,
        Rush the flames to the sky
        Giant-high;
   And at length,
   Wearied out and despairing, man bows to their strength!
   With an idle gaze sees their wrath consume,
   And submits to his doom!
        Desolate
   The place, and dread
   For storms the barren bed.
   In the blank voids that cheerful casements were,
   Comes to and fro the melancholy air,
    And sits despair;
   And through the ruin, blackening in its shroud
   Peers, as it flits, the melancholy cloud.

   One human glance of grief upon the grave
   Of all that fortune gave
   The loiterer takes--then turns him to depart,
   And grasps the wanderer's staff and mans his heart
   Whatever else the element bereaves
   One blessing more than all it reft--it leaves,
   The faces that he loves!--He counts them o'er,
   See--not one look is missing from that store!

   Now clasped the bell within the clay--
    The mould the mingled metals fill--
   Oh, may it, sparkling into day,
    Reward the labor and the skill!
        Alas! should it fail,
        For the mould may be frail--
   And still with our hope must be mingled the fear--
   And, ev'n now, while we speak, the mishap may be near!
   To the dark womb of sacred earth
    This labor of our hands is given,
   As seeds that wait the second birth,
    And turn to blessings watched by heaven!
   Ah, seeds, how dearer far than they,
    We bury in the dismal tomb,
   Where hope and sorrow bend to pray
   That suns beyond the realm of day
    May warm them into bloom!

        From the steeple
         Tolls the bell,
        Deep and heavy,
         The death-knell!
   Guiding with dirge-note--solemn, sad, and slow,
   To the last home earth's weary wanderers know.
        It is that worshipped wife--
        It is that faithful mother! [46]
   Whom the dark prince of shadows leads benighted,
   From that dear arm where oft she hung delighted
   Far from those blithe companions, born
   Of her, and blooming in their morn;
   On whom, when couched her heart above,
   So often looked the mother-love!

   Ah! rent the sweet home's union-band,
    And never, never more to come--
   She dwells within the shadowy land,
    Who was the mother of that home!
   How oft they miss that tender guide,
    The care--the watch--the face--the mother--
   And where she sate the babes beside,
    Sits with unloving looks--another!

      While the mass is cooling now,
       Let the labor yield to leisure,
      As the bird upon the bough,
       Loose the travail to the pleasure.
      When the soft stars awaken,
      Each task be forsaken!
   And the vesper-bell lulling the earth into peace,
   If the master still toil, chimes the workman's release!

    Homeward from the tasks of day,
    Through the greenwood's welcome way
    Wends the wanderer, blithe and cheerly,
    To the cottage loved so dearly!
    And the eye and ear are meeting,
    Now, the slow sheep homeward bleating--
    Now, the wonted shelter near,
    Lowing the lusty-fronted steer;
    Creaking now the heavy wain,
    Reels with the happy harvest grain.
    While with many-colored leaves,
    Glitters the garland on the sheaves;
    For the mower's work is done,
    And the young folks' dance begun!
    Desert street, and quiet mart;--
    Silence is in the city's heart;
    And the social taper lighteth;
    Each dear face that home uniteth;
    While the gate the town before
    Heavily swings with sullen roar!

     Though darkness is spreading
      O'er earth--the upright
     And the honest, undreading,
      Look safe on the night--
     Which the evil man watches in awe,
     For the eye of the night is the law!
      Bliss-dowered! O daughter of the skies,
     Hail, holy order, whose employ
     Blends like to like in light and joy--
     Builder of cities, who of old
     Called the wild man from waste and wold.
     And, in his hut thy presence stealing,
     Roused each familiar household feeling;
      And, best of all the happy ties,
     The centre of the social band,--
     The instinct of the Fatherland!

   United thus--each helping each,
    Brisk work the countless hands forever;
   For naught its power to strength can teach,
    Like emulation and endeavor!
   Thus linked the master with the man,
    Each in his rights can each revere,
   And while they march in freedom's van,
    Scorn the lewd rout that dogs the rear!
   To freemen labor is renown!
    Who works--gives blessings and commands;
   Kings glory in the orb and crown--
    Be ours the glory of our hands.

   Long in these walls--long may we greet
   Your footfalls, peace and concord sweet!
   Distant the day, oh! distant far,
   When the rude hordes of trampling war
    Shall scare the silent vale;
      And where,
     Now the sweet heaven, when day doth leave
      The air,
     Limns its soft rose-hues on the veil of eve;
    Shall the fierce war-brand tossing in the gale,
   From town and hamlet shake the horrent glare!

     Now, its destined task fulfilled,
      Asunder break the prison-mould;
     Let the goodly bell we build,
      Eye and heart alike behold.
        The hammer down heave,
        Till the cover it cleave:--
   For not till we shatter the wall of its cell
   Can we lift from its darkness and bondage the bell.

    To break the mould, the master may,
     If skilled the hand and ripe the hour;
    But woe, when on its fiery way
     The metal seeks itself to pour.
    Frantic and blind, with thunder-knell,
     Exploding from its shattered home,
    And glaring forth, as from a hell,
     Behold the red destruction come!
    When rages strength that has no reason,
    There breaks the mould before the season;
    When numbers burst what bound before,
    Woe to the state that thrives no more!
    Yea, woe, when in the city's heart,
     The latent spark to flame is blown;
    And millions from their silence start,
     To claim, without a guide, their own!

    Discordant howls the warning bell,
     Proclaiming discord wide and far,
    And, born but things of peace to tell,
     Becomes the ghastliest voice of war:
    "Freedom! Equality!"--to blood
     Rush the roused people at the sound!
    Through street, hall, palace, roars the flood,
     And banded murder closes round!
    The hyena-shapes (that women were!),
     Jest with the horrors they survey;
    They hound--they rend--they mangle there--
     As panthers with their prey!
    Naught rests to hollow--burst the ties
     Of life's sublime and reverent awe;
    Before the vice the virtue flies,
     And universal crime is law!
    Man fears the lion's kingly tread;
     Man fears the tiger's fangs of terror;
    And still the dreadliest of the dread,
     Is man himself in error!
    No torch, though lit from heaven, illumes
     The blind!--Why place it in his hand?
    It lights not him--it but consumes
     The city and the land!

     Rejoice and laud the prospering skies!
      The kernel bursts its husk--behold
     From the dull clay the metal rise,
      Pure-shining, as a star of gold!
        Neck and lip, but as one beam,
        It laughs like a sunbeam.
   And even the scutcheon, clear-graven, shall tell
   That the art of a master has fashioned the bell!

   Come in--come in
    My merry men--we'll form a ring
    The new-born labor christening;
     And "Concord" we will name her!--
    To union may her heartfelt call
    In brother-love attune us all!
   May she the destined glory win
     For which the master sought to frame her--
   Aloft--(all earth's existence under),
    In blue-pavillioned heaven afar
   To dwell--the neighbor of the thunder,
    The borderer of the star!
   Be hers above a voice to rise
    Like those bright hosts in yonder sphere,
   Who, while they move, their Maker praise,
    And lead around the wreathed year!
   To solemn and eternal things
    We dedicate her lips sublime!--
   As hourly, calmly, on she swings
    Fanned by the fleeting wings of time!--
   No pulse--no heart--no feeling hers!
    She lends the warning voice to fate;
   And still companions, while she stirs,
    The changes of the human state!
   So may she teach us, as her tone
    But now so mighty, melts away--
   That earth no life which earth has known
    From the last silence can delay!

     Slowly now the cords upheave her!
      From her earth-grave soars the bell;
     Mid the airs of heaven we leave her!
      In the music-realm to dwell!
        Up--upwards yet raise--
        She has risen--she sways.
   Fair bell to our city bode joy and increase,
   And oh, may thy first sound be hallowed to peace! [47]




        THE POWER OF SONG.

   The foaming stream from out the rock
    With thunder roar begins to rush,--
   The oak falls prostrate at the shock,
    And mountain-wrecks attend the gush.
   With rapturous awe, in wonder lost,
    The wanderer hearkens to the sound;
   From cliff to cliff he hears it tossed,
    Yet knows not whither it is bound:
   'Tis thus that song's bright waters pour
   From sources never known before.

   In union with those dreaded ones
    That spin life's thread all-silently,
   Who can resist the singer's tones?
    Who from his magic set him free?
   With wand like that the gods bestow,
    He guides the heaving bosom's chords,
   He steeps it in the realms below,
    He bears it, wondering, heavenward,
   And rocks it, 'twixt the grave and gay,
   On feeling's scales that trembling sway.

   As when before the startled eyes
    Of some glad throng, mysteriously,
   With giant-step, in spirit-guise,
    Appears a wondrous deity,
   Then bows each greatness of the earth
    Before the stranger heaven-born,
   Mute are the thoughtless sounds of mirth,
    While from each face the mask is torn,
   And from the truth's triumphant might
   Each work of falsehood takes to flight.

   So from each idle burden free,
    When summoned by the voice of song,
   Man soars to spirit-dignity,
    Receiving force divinely strong:
   Among the gods is now his home,
    Naught earthly ventures to approach--
   All other powers must now be dumb,
    No fate can on his realms encroach;
   Care's gloomy wrinkles disappear,
   Whilst music's charms still linger here,

   As after long and hopeless yearning,
    And separation's bitter smart,
   A child, with tears repentant burning,
    Clings fondly to his mother's heart--
   So to his youthful happy dwelling,
    To rapture pure and free from stain,
   All strange and false conceits expelling,
    Song guides the wanderer back again,
   In faithful Nature's loving arm,
   From chilling precepts to grow warm.




          TO PROSELYTIZERS.

   "Give me only a fragment of earth beyond the earth's limits,"--
    So the godlike man said,--"and I will move it with ease."
   Only give me permission to leave myself for one moment,
    And without any delay I will engage to be yours.




        HONOR TO WOMAN.

     [Literally "Dignity of Women."]

   Honor to woman! To her it is given
   To garden the earth with the roses of heaven!
    All blessed, she linketh the loves in their choir
   In the veil of the graces her beauty concealing,
   She tends on each altar that's hallowed to feeling,
    And keeps ever-living the fire!

   From the bounds of truth careering,
    Man's strong spirit wildly sweeps,
   With each hasty impulse veering
    Down to passion's troubled deeps.
   And his heart, contented never,
    Greeds to grapple with the far,
   Chasing his own dream forever,
    On through many a distant star!
   But woman with looks that can charm and enchain,
   Lureth back at her beck the wild truant again,
    By the spell of her presence beguiled--
   In the home of the mother her modest abode,
   And modest the manners by Nature bestowed
    On Nature's most exquisite child!

   Bruised and worn, but fiercely breasting,
    Foe to foe, the angry strife;
   Man, the wild one, never resting,
    Roams along the troubled life;
   What he planneth, still pursuing;
    Vainly as the Hydra bleeds,
   Crest the severed crest renewing--
    Wish to withered wish succeeds.

   But woman at peace with all being, reposes,
   And seeks from the moment to gather the roses--
    Whose sweets to her culture belong.
   Ah! richer than he, though his soul reigneth o'er
   The mighty dominion of genius and lore,
    And the infinite circle of song.

   Strong, and proud, and self-depending,
    Man's cold bosom beats alone;
   Heart with heart divinely blending,
    In the love that gods have known,
   Soul's sweet interchange of feeling,
    Melting tears--he never knows,
   Each hard sense the hard one steeling,
    Arms against a world of foes.

   Alive, as the wind-harp, how lightly soever
   If wooed by the zephyr, to music will quiver,
    Is woman to hope and to fear;
   All, tender one! still at the shadow of grieving,
   How quiver the chords--how thy bosom is heaving--
    How trembles thy glance through the tear!

   Man's dominion, war and labor;
    Might to right the statue gave;
   Laws are in the Scythian's sabre;
    Where the Mede reigned--see the slave!
   Peace and meekness grimly routing,
    Prowls the war-lust, rude and wild;
   Eris rages, hoarsely shouting,
    Where the vanished graces smiled.

   But woman, the soft one, persuasively prayeth--
   Of the life [48] that she charmeth, the sceptre she swayeth;
    She lulls, as she looks from above,
   The discord whose bell for its victims is gaping,
   And blending awhile the forever escaping,
    Whispers hate to the image of love!




          HOPE.

   We speak with the lip, and we dream in the soul,
    Of some better and fairer day;
   And our days, the meanwhile, to that golden goal
    Are gliding and sliding away.
   Now the world becomes old, now again it is young,
   But "The better" 's forever the word on the tongue.

   At the threshold of life hope leads us in--
    Hope plays round the mirthful boy;
   Though the best of its charms may with youth begin,
    Yet for age it reserves its toy.




     THE GERMAN ART.

   By no kind Augustus reared,
   To no Medici endeared,
    German art arose;
   Fostering glory smiled not on her,
   Ne'er with kingly smiles to sun her,
    Did her blooms unclose.

   No,--she went by monarchs slighted
   Went unhonored, unrequited,
    From high Frederick's throne;
   Praise and pride be all the greater,
   That man's genius did create her,
    From man's worth alone.

   Therefore, all from loftier mountains,
   Purer wells and richer fountains,
    Streams our poet-art;
   So no rule to curb its rushing--
   All the fuller flows it gushing
    From its deep--the heart!




          ODYSSEUS.

   Seeking to find his home, Odysseus crosses each water;
    Through Charybdis so dread; ay, and through Scylla's wild yells,
   Through the alarms of the raging sea, the alarms of the land too,--
    E'en to the kingdom of hell leads him his wandering course.
   And at length, as he sleeps, to Ithaca's coast fate conducts him;
    There he awakes, and, with grief, knows not his fatherland now.




          CARTHAGE.

Oh thou degenerate child of the great and glorious mother,
 Who with the Romans' strong might couplest the Tyrians' deceit!
But those ever governed with vigor the earth they had conquered,--
 These instructed the world that they with cunning had won.
Say! what renown does history grant thee? Thou, Roman-like, gained'st
 That with the steel, which with gold, Tyrian-like, then thou didst rule!




          THE SOWER.

   Sure of the spring that warms them into birth,
   The golden seeds thou trustest to the earth;
   And dost thou doubt the eternal spring sublime,
   For deeds--the seeds which wisdom sows in time.




        THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN.

 Oh, nobly shone the fearful cross upon your mail afar,
 When Rhodes and Acre hailed your might, O lions of the war!
 When leading many a pilgrim horde, through wastes of Syrian gloom;
 Or standing with the cherub's sword before the holy tomb.
 Yet on your forms the apron seemed a nobler armor far,
 When by the sick man's bed ye stood, O lions of the war!
 When ye, the high-born, bowed your pride to tend the lowly weakness,
 The duty, though it brought no fame, fulfilled by Christian meekness--
 Religion of the cross, thou blend'st, as in a single flower,
 The twofold branches of the palm--humility and power. [49]




          THE MERCHANT.

   Where sails the ship?--It leads the Tyrian forth
   For the rich amber of the liberal north.
   Be kind, ye seas--winds, lend your gentlest wing,
   May in each creek sweet wells restoring spring!--
   To you, ye gods, belong the merchant!--o'er
   The waves his sails the wide world's goods explore;
   And, all the while, wherever waft the gales
   The wide world's good sails with him as he sails!




          GERMAN FAITH. [50]

   Once for the sceptre of Germany, fought with Bavarian Louis
    Frederick, of Hapsburg descent, both being called to the throne.
   But the envious fortune of war delivered the Austrian
    Into the hands of the foe, who overcame him in fight.
   With the throne he purchased his freedom, pledging his honor
    For the victor to draw 'gainst his own people his sword;
   But what he vowed when in chains, when free he could not accomplish,
    So, of his own free accord, put on his fetters again.
   Deeply moved, his foe embraced him,--and from thenceforward
    As a friend with a friend, pledged they the cup at the feast;
   Arm-in-arm, the princes on one couch slumbered together.
    While a still bloodier hate severed the nations apart.
   'Gainst the army of Frederick Louis now went, and behind him
    Left the foe he had fought, over Bavaria to watch.
   "Ay, it is true! 'Tis really true! I have it in writing!"
    Thus did the Pontifex cry, when he first heard of the news.




          THE SEXES.

 See in the babe two loveliest flowers united--yet in truth,
 While in the bud they seem the same--the virgin and the youth!
 But loosened is the gentle bond, no longer side by side--
 From holy shame the fiery strength will soon itself divide.
 Permit the youth to sport, and still the wild desire to chase,
 For, but when sated, weary strength returns to seek the grace.
 Yet in the bud, the double flowers the future strife begin,
 How precious all--yet naught can still the longing heart within.
 In ripening charms the virgin bloom to woman shape hath grown,
 But round the ripening charms the pride hath clasped its guardian zone;
 Shy, as before the hunter's horn the doe all trembling moves,
 She flies from man as from a foe, and hates before she loves!

 From lowering brows this struggling world the fearless youth observes,
 And hardened for the strife betimes, he strains the willing nerves;
 Far to the armed throng and to the race prepared to start,
 Inviting glory calls him forth, and grasps the troubled heart:--
 Protect thy work, O Nature now! one from the other flies,
 Till thou unitest each at last that for the other sighs.
 There art thou, mighty one! where'er the discord darkest frown,
 Thou call'st the meek harmonious peace, the god-like soother down.
 The noisy chase is lulled asleep, day's clamor dies afar,
 And through the sweet and veiled air in beauty comes the star.
 Soft-sighing through the crisped reeds, the brooklet glides along,
 And every wood the nightingale melodious fills with song.
 O virgin! now what instinct heaves thy bosom with the sigh?
 O youth! and wherefore steals the tear into thy dreaming eye?
 Alas! they seek in vain within the charm around bestowed,
 The tender fruit is ripened now, and bows to earth its load.
 And restless goes the youth to feed his heart upon its fire,
 All, where the gentle breath to cool the flame of young desire!
 And now they meet--the holy love that leads them lights their eyes,
 And still behind the winged god the winged victory flies.
 O heavenly love!--'tis thy sweet task the human flowers to bind,
 For ay apart, and yet by thee forever intertwined!




          LOVE AND DESIRE.

Rightly said, Schlosser! Man loves what he has; what he has not, desireth;
 None but the wealthy minds love; poor minds desire alone.




         THE BARDS OF OLDEN TIME.

 Say, where is now that glorious race, where now are the singers
  Who, with the accents of life, listening nations enthralled,
 Sung down from heaven the gods, and sung mankind up to heaven,
  And who the spirit bore up high on the pinions of song?
 Ah! the singers still live; the actions only are wanting,
  And to awake the glad harp, only a welcoming ear.
 Happy bards of a happy world! Your life-teeming accents
  Flew round from mouth unto mouth, gladdening every race.
 With the devotion with which the gods were received, each one welcomed
  That which the genius for him, plastic and breathing, then formed.
 With the glow of the song were inflamed the listener's senses,
  And with the listener's sense, nourished the singer the glow--
 Nourished and cleansed it,--fortunate one! for whom in the voices
  Of the people still clear echoed the soul of the song,
 And to whom from without appeared, in life, the great godhead,
  Whom the bard of these days scarcely can feel in his breast.




        JOVE TO HERCULES.

   'Twas not my nectar made thy strength divine,
   But 'twas thy strength which made my nectar thine!




     THE ANTIQUES AT PARIS.

   That which Grecian art created,
   Let the Frank, with joy elated,
    Bear to Seine's triumphant strand,
   And in his museums glorious
   Show the trophies all-victorious
    To his wondering fatherland.

   They to him are silent ever,
   Into life's fresh circle never
    From their pedestals come down.
   He alone e'er holds the Muses
   Through whose breast their power diffuses,--
    To the Vandal they're but stone!




         THEKLA.

       A SPIRIT VOICE.

   Whither was it that my spirit wended
    When from thee my fleeting shadow moved?
   Is not now each earthly conflict ended?
    Say,--have I not lived,--have I not loved?

   Art thou for the nightingales inquiring
    Who entranced thee in the early year
   With their melody so joy-inspiring?
    Only whilst they loved they lingered here.

   Is the lost one lost to me forever?
    Trust me, with him joyfully I stray
   There, where naught united souls can sever,
    And where every tear is wiped away.

   And thou, too, wilt find us in yon heaven,
    When thy love with our love can compare;
   There my father dwells, his sins forgiven,--
    Murder foul can never reach him there.

   And he feels that him no vision cheated
    When he gazed upon the stars on high;
   For as each one metes, to him 'tis meted;
    Who believes it, hath the Holy nigh.

   Faith is kept in those blest regions yonder
    With the feelings true that ne'er decay.
   Venture thou to dream, then, and to wander
    Noblest thoughts oft lie in childlike play.




     THE ANTIQUE TO THE NORTHERN WANDERER.

Thou hast crossed over torrents, and swung through wide-spreading ocean,--
 Over the chain of the Alps dizzily bore thee the bridge,
That thou might'st see me from near, and learn to value my beauty,
 Which the voice of renown spreads through the wandering world.
And now before me thou standest,--canst touch my altar so holy,--
 But art thou nearer to me, or am I nearer to thee?




             THE ILIAD.

   Tear forever the garland of Homer, and number the fathers
    Of the immortal work, that through all time will survive!
   Yet it has but one mother, and bears that mother's own feature,
    'Tis thy features it bears,--Nature,--thy features eterne!




        POMPEII AND HERCULANEUM.

   What wonder this?--we ask the lympid well,
   O earth! of thee--and from thy solemn womb
   What yieldest thou?--is there life in the abyss--
   Doth a new race beneath the lava dwell?
   Returns the past, awakening from the tomb?
   Rome--Greece!--Oh, come!--Behold--behold! for this!
   Our living world--the old Pompeii sees;
   And built anew the town of Dorian Hercules!
   House upon house--its silent halls once more
   Opes the broad portico!--Oh, haste and fill
   Again those halls with life!--Oh, pour along
   Through the seven-vista'd theatre the throng!
   Where are ye, mimes?--Come forth, the steel prepare
   For crowned Atrides, or Orestes haunt,
   Ye choral Furies, with your dismal chant!
   The arch of triumph!--whither leads it?--still
   Behold the forum!--on the curule chair
   Where the majestic image? Lictors, where
   Your solemn fasces?--Place upon his throne
   The Praetor--here the witness lead, and there
   Bid the accuser stand

                 --O God! how lone
   The clear streets glitter in the quiet day--
   The footpath by the doors winding its lifeless way!
   The roofs arise in shelter, and around
   The desolate Atrium--every gentle room
   Wears still the dear familiar smile of home!
   Open the doors--the shops--on dreary night
   Let lusty day laugh down in jocund light!

   See the trim benches ranged in order!--See
   The marble-tesselated floor--and there
   The very walls are glittering livingly
   With their clear colors. But the artist, where!
   Sure but this instant he hath laid aside
   Pencil and colors!--Glittering on the eye
   Swell the rich fruits, and bloom the flowers!--See all
   Art's gentle wreaths still fresh upon the wall!
   Here the arch Cupid slyly seems to glide
   By with bloom-laden basket. There the shapes
   Of genii press with purpling feet the grapes,
   Here springs the wild Bacchante to the dance,
   And there she sleeps [while that voluptuous trance
   Eyes the sly faun with never-sated glance]
   Now on one knee upon the centaur-steeds
   Hovering--the Thyrsus plies.--Hurrah!--away she speeds!

   Come--come, why loiter ye?--Here, here, how fair
   The goodly vessels still! Girls, hither turn,
   Fill from the fountain the Etruscan urn!
   On the winged sphinxes see the tripod.--
                       Ho!
   Quick--quick, ye slaves, come--fire!--the hearth prepare!
   Ha! wilt thou sell?--this coin shall pay thee--this,
   Fresh from the mint of mighty Titus!--Lo!
   Here lie the scales, and not a weight we miss
   So--bring the light! The delicate lamp!--what toil
   Shaped thy minutest grace!--quick pour the oil!
   Yonder the fairy chest!--come, maid, behold
   The bridegroom's gifts--the armlets--they are gold,
   And paste out-feigning jewels!--lead the bride
   Into the odorous bath--lo! unguents still--
   And still the crystal vase the arts for beauty fill!

   But where the men of old--perchance a prize
   More precious yet in yon papyrus lies,
   And see ev'n still the tokens of their toil--
   The waxen tablets--the recording style.
   The earth, with faithful watch, has hoarded all!
   Still stand the mute penates in the hall;
   Back to his haunts returns each ancient god.
   Why absent only from their ancient stand
   The priests?--waves Hermes his Caducean rod,
   And the winged victory struggles from the hand.
   Kindle the flame--behold the altar there!
   Long hath the god been worshipless--to prayer.




             NAENIA.

   Even the beauteous must die! This vanquishes men and immortals;
    But of the Stygian god moves not the bosom of steel.
   Once and once only could love prevail on the ruler of shadows,
    And on the threshold, e'en then, sternly his gift he recalled.
   Venus could never heal the wounds of the beauteous stripling,
    That the terrible boar made in his delicate skin;
   Nor could his mother immortal preserve the hero so godlike,
    When at the west gate of Troy, falling, his fate he fulfilled.
   But she arose from the ocean with all the daughters of Nereus,
    And o'er her glorified son raised the loud accents of woe.
   See! where all the gods and goddesses yonder are weeping,
    That the beauteous must fade, and that the perfect must die.
   Even a woe-song to be in the mouth of the loved ones is glorious,
    For what is vulgar descends mutely to Orcus' dark shades.




        THE MAID OF ORLEANS.

   Humanity's bright image to impair.
    Scorn laid thee prostrate in the deepest dust;
   Wit wages ceaseless war on all that's fair,--
    In angel and in God it puts no trust;
   The bosom's treasures it would make its prey,--
   Besieges fancy,--dims e'en faith's pure ray.

   Yet issuing like thyself from humble line,
    Like thee a gentle shepherdess is she--
   Sweet poesy affords her rights divine,
    And to the stars eternal soars with thee.
   Around thy brow a glory she hath thrown;
   The heart 'twas formed thee,--ever thou'lt live on!

   The world delights whate'er is bright to stain,
    And in the dust to lay the glorious low;
   Yet fear not! noble bosoms still remain,
    That for the lofty, for the radiant glow
   Let Momus serve to fill the booth with mirth;
   A nobler mind loves forms of nobler worth.




         ARCHIMEDES.

   To Archimedes once a scholar came,
   "Teach me," he said, "the art that won thy fame;--
   The godlike art which gives such boons to toil,
   And showers such fruit upon thy native soil;--
   The godlike art that girt the town when all
   Rome's vengeance burst in thunder on the wall!"
   "Thou call'st art godlike--it is so, in truth,
   And was," replied the master to the youth,
   "Ere yet its secrets were applied to use--
   Ere yet it served beleaguered Syracuse:--
   Ask'st thou from art, but what the art is worth?
   The fruit?--for fruit go cultivate the earth.--
   He who the goddess would aspire unto,
   Must not the goddess as the woman woo!"




             THE DANCE.

 See how, like lightest waves at play, the airy dancers fleet;
 And scarcely feels the floor the wings of those harmonious feet.
 Ob, are they flying shadows from their native forms set free?
 Or phantoms in the fairy ring that summer moonbeams see?
 As, by the gentle zephyr blown, some light mist flees in air,
 As skiffs that skim adown the tide, when silver waves are fair,
 So sports the docile footstep to the heave of that sweet measure,
 As music wafts the form aloft at its melodious pleasure,
 Now breaking through the woven chain of the entangled dance,
 From where the ranks the thickest press, a bolder pair advance,
 The path they leave behind them lost--wide open the path beyond,
 The way unfolds or closes up as by a magic wand.
 See now, they vanish from the gaze in wild confusion blended;
 All, in sweet chaos whirled again, that gentle world is ended!
 No!--disentangled glides the knot, the gay disorder ranges--
 The only system ruling here, a grace that ever changes.
 For ay destroyed--for ay renewed, whirls on that fair creation;
 And yet one peaceful law can still pervade in each mutation.
 And what can to the reeling maze breathe harmony and vigor,
 And give an order and repose to every gliding figure?
 That each a ruler to himself doth but himself obey,
 Yet through the hurrying course still keeps his own appointed way.
 What, would'st thou know? It is in truth the mighty power of tune,
 A power that every step obeys, as tides obey the moon;
 That threadeth with a golden clue the intricate employment,
 Curbs bounding strength to tranquil grace, and tames the wild enjoyment.
 And comes the world's wide harmony in vain upon thine ears?
 The stream of music borne aloft from yonder choral spheres?
 And feel'st thou not the measure which eternal Nature keeps?
 The whirling dance forever held in yonder azure deeps?
 The suns that wheel in varying maze?--That music thou discernest?
 No! Thou canst honor that in sport which thou forgettest in earnest.
 [52]




        THE FORTUNE-FAVORED. [53]



   Ah! happy he, upon whose birth each god
    Looks down in love, whose earliest sleep the bright
   Idalia cradles, whose young lips the rod
   Of eloquent Hermes kindles--to whose eyes,
   Scarce wakened yet, Apollo steals in light,
    While on imperial brows Jove sets the seal of might!
   Godlike the lot ordained for him to share,
    He wins the garland ere he runs the race;
   He learns life's wisdom ere he knows life's care,
    And, without labor vanquished, smiles the grace.
   Great is the man, I grant, whose strength of mind,
    Self-shapes its objects and subdues the fates--
   Virtue subdues the fates, but cannot blind
    The fickle happiness, whose smile awaits
   Those who scarce seek it; nor can courage earn
   What the grace showers not from her own free urn!
   From aught unworthy, the determined will
    Can guard the watchful spirit--there it ends
    The all that's glorious from the heaven descends;
   As some sweet mistress loves us, freely still
   Come the spontaneous gifts of heaven!--Above
   Favor rules Jove, as it below rules love!
   The immortals have their bias!--Kindly they
   See the bright locks of youth enamored play,
   And where the glad one goes, shed gladness round the way.
   It is not they who boast the best to see,
    Whose eyes the holy apparitions bless;
   The stately light of their divinity
     Hath oft but shone the brightest on the blind;--
    And their choice spirit found its calm recess
     In the pure childhood of a simple mind.
   Unasked they come delighted to delude
    The expectation of our baffled pride;
    No law can call their free steps to our side.
     Him whom he loves, the sire of men and gods
   (Selected from the marvelling multitude)
     Bears on his eagle to his bright abodes;
   And showers, with partial hand and lavish, down,
   The minstrel's laurel or the monarch's crown!
   Before the fortune-favored son of earth,
   Apollo walks--and, with his jocund mirth,
   The heart-enthralling smiler of the skies
    For him gray Neptune smooths the pliant wave--
     Harmless the waters for the ship that bore
     The Caesar and his fortunes to the shore!
   Charmed at his feet the crouching lion lies,
    To him his back the murmuring dolphin gave;
   His soul is born a sovereign o'er the strife--
   The lord of all the beautiful of life;
   Where'er his presence in its calm has trod,
   It charms--it sways as solve diviner God.
   Scorn not the fortune-favored, that to him
    The light-won victory by the gods is given,
     Or that, as Paris, from the strife severe,
    The Venus draws her darling--Whom the heaven
     So prospers, love so watches, I revere!
   And not the man upon whose eyes, with dim
   And baleful night, sits fate. Achaia boasts,
    No less the glory of the Dorian lord [54]
    That Vulcan wrought for him the shield and sword--
   That round the mortal hovered all the hosts
   Of all Olympus--that his wrath to grace,
   The best and bravest of the Grecian race
   Untimely slaughtered, with resentful ghosts
   Awed the pale people of the Stygian coasts!
   Scorn not the darlings of the beautiful,
   If without labor they life's blossoms cull;
   If, like the stately lilies, they have won
   A crown for which they neither toiled nor spun;--
   If without merit, theirs be beauty, still
   Thy sense, unenvying, with the beauty fill.
   Alike for thee no merit wins the right,
   To share, by simply seeing, their delight.
   Heaven breathes the soul into the minstrel's breast,
   But with that soul he animates the rest;
   The god inspires the mortal--but to God,
   In turn, the mortal lifts thee from the sod.
   Oh, not in vain to heaven the bard is dear;
   Holy himself--he hallows those who hear!
   The busy mart let justice still control,
    Weighing the guerdon to the toil!--What then?
     A God alone claims joy--all joy is his,
    Flushing with unsought light the cheeks of men.
     [55] Where is no miracle, why there no bliss!
   Grow, change, and ripen all that mortal be,
    Shapened from form to form, by toiling time;
     The blissful and the beautiful are born
   Full grown, and ripened from eternity--
    No gradual changes to their glorious prime,
     No childhood dwarfs them, and no age has worn.--
  Like heaven's, each earthly Venus on the sight
   Comes, a dark birth, from out an endless sea;
  Like the first Pallas, in maturest might,
  Armed, from the thunderer's--brow, leaps forth each thought of light.




        BOOKSELLER'S ANNOUNCEMENT.

   Naught is for man so important as rightly to know his own purpose;
    For but twelve groschen hard cash 'tis to be bought at my shop!




          GENIUS.

 "Do I believe," sayest thou, "what the masters of wisdom would teach me,
  And what their followers' band boldly and readily swear?
 Cannot I ever attain to true peace, excepting through knowledge,
  Or is the system upheld only by fortune and law?
 Must I distrust the gently-warning impulse, the precept
  That thou, Nature, thyself hast in my bosom impressed,
 Till the schools have affixed to the writ eternal their signet,
  Till a mere formula's chain binds down the fugitive soul?
 Answer me, then! for thou hast down into these deeps e'en descended,--
  Out of the mouldering grave thou didst uninjured return.
 Is't to thee known what within the tomb of obscure works is hidden,
  Whether, yon mummies amid, life's consolations can dwell?
 Must I travel the darksome road? The thought makes me tremble;
  Yet I will travel that road, if 'tis to truth and to right."

 Friend, hast thou heard of the golden age? Full many a story
  Poets have sung in its praise, simply and touchingly sung--
 Of the time when the holy still wandered over life's pathways,--
  When with a maidenly shame every sensation was veiled,--
 When the mighty law that governs the sun in his orbit,
  And that, concealed in the bud, teaches the point how to move,
 When necessity's silent law, the steadfast, the changeless,
  Stirred up billows more free, e'en in the bosom of man,--
 When the sense, unerring, and true as the hand of the dial,
  Pointed only to truth, only to what was eternal?

 Then no profane one was seen, then no initiate was met with,
  And what as living was felt was not then sought 'mongst the dead;
 Equally clear to every breast was the precept eternal,
  Equally hidden the source whence it to gladden us sprang;
 But that happy period has vanished! And self-willed presumption
  Nature's godlike repose now has forever destroyed.
 Feelings polluted the voice of the deities echo no longer,
  In the dishonored breast now is the oracle dumb.
 Save in the silenter self, the listening soul cannot find it,
  There does the mystical word watch o'er the meaning divine;
 There does the searcher conjure it, descending with bosom unsullied;
  There does the nature long-lost give him back wisdom again.
 If thou, happy one, never hast lost the angel that guards thee,
  Forfeited never the kind warnings that instinct holds forth;
 If in thy modest eye the truth is still purely depicted;
  If in thine innocent breast clearly still echoes its call;
 If in thy tranquil mind the struggles of doubt still are silent,
  If they will surely remain silent forever as now;
 If by the conflict of feelings a judge will ne'er be required;
  If in its malice thy heart dims not the reason so clear,
 Oh, then, go thy way in all thy innocence precious!
  Knowledge can teach thee in naught; thou canst instruct her in much!
 Yonder law, that with brazen staff is directing the struggling,
  Naught is to thee. What thou dost, what thou mayest will is thy law,
 And to every race a godlike authority issues.
  What thou with holy hand formest, what thou with holy mouth speakest,
 Will with omnipotent power impel the wondering senses;
  Thou but observest not the god ruling within thine own breast,
 Not the might of the signet that bows all spirits before thee;
  Simple and silent thou goest through the wide world thou hast won.




            HONORS.

   [Dignities would be the better title, if the word were not so
   essentially unpoetical.]

   When the column of light on the waters is glassed,
    As blent in one glow seem the shine and the stream;
   But wave after wave through the glory has passed,
    Just catches, and flies as it catches, the beam
   So honors but mirror on mortals their light;
   Not the man but the place that he passes is bright.




        THE PHILOSOPHICAL EGOTIST.

   Hast thou the infant seen that yet, unknowing of the love
   Which warms and cradles, calmly sleeps the mother's heart above--
   Wandering from arm to arm, until the call of passion wakes,
   And glimmering on the conscious eye--the world in glory breaks?

   And hast thou seen the mother there her anxious vigil keep?
   Buying with love that never sleeps the darling's happy sleep?
   With her own life she fans and feeds that weak life's trembling rays,
   And with the sweetness of the care, the care itself repays.

   And dost thou Nature then blaspheme--that both the child and mother
   Each unto each unites, the while the one doth need the other?--
   All self-sufficing wilt thou from that lovely circle stand--
   That creature still to creature links in faith's familiar band?

   Ah! dar'st thou, poor one, from the rest thy lonely self estrange?
   Eternal power itself is but all powers in interchange!




        THE BEST STATE CONSTITUTION.

 I can recognize only as such, the one that enables
 Each to think what is right,--but that he thinks so, cares not.




        THE WORDS OF BELIEF.

   Three words will I name thee--around and about,
    From the lip to the lip, full of meaning, they flee;
   But they had not their birth in the being without,
    And the heart, not the lip, must their oracle be!
   And all worth in the man shall forever be o'er
   When in those three words he believes no more.

   Man is made free!--Man by birthright is free,
    Though the tyrant may deem him but born for his tool.
   Whatever the shout of the rabble may be--
    Whatever the ranting misuse of the fool--
   Still fear not the slave, when he breaks from his chain,
   For the man made a freeman grows safe in his gain.

   And virtue is more than a shade or a sound,
    And man may her voice, in this being, obey;
   And though ever he slip on the stony ground,
    Yet ever again to the godlike way,
   To the science of good though the wise may be blind,
   Yet the practice is plain to the childlike mind.

   And a God there is!--over space, over time,
    While the human will rocks, like a reed, to and fro,
   Lives the will of the holy--a purpose sublime,
    A thought woven over creation below;
   Changing and shifting the all we inherit,
   But changeless through all one immutable spirit

   Hold fast the three words of belief--though about
    From the lip to the lip, full of meaning, they flee;
   Yet they take not their birth from the being without--
    But a voice from within must their oracle be;
   And never all worth in the man can be o'er,
   Till in those three words he believes no more.




        THE WORDS OF ERROR.

   Three errors there are, that forever are found
    On the lips of the good, on the lips of the best;
   But empty their meaning and hollow their sound--
    And slight is the comfort they bring to the breast.
   The fruits of existence escape from the clasp
   Of the seeker who strives but those shadows to grasp--

   So long as man dreams of some age in this life
    When the right and the good will all evil subdue;
   For the right and the good lead us ever to strife,
    And wherever they lead us the fiend will pursue.
   And (till from the earth borne, and stifled at length)
   The earth that he touches still gifts him with strength! [56]

   So long as man fancies that fortune will live,
    Like a bride with her lover, united with worth;
   For her favors, alas! to the mean she will give--
    And virtue possesses no title to earth!
   That foreigner wanders to regions afar,
   Where the lands of her birthright immortally are!

   So long as man dreams that, to mortals a gift,
    The truth in her fulness of splendor will shine;
   The veil of the goddess no earth-born may lift,
    And all we can learn is--to guess and divine!
   Dost thou seek, in a dogma, to prison her form?
   The spirit flies forth on the wings of the storm!

   O, noble soul! fly from delusions like these,
    More heavenly belief be it thine to adore;
   Where the ear never hearkens, the eye never sees,
    Meet the rivers of beauty and truth evermore!
   Not without thee the streams--there the dull seek them;--No!
   Look within thee--behold both the fount and the flow!




          THE POWER OF WOMAN.

   Mighty art thou, because of the peaceful charms of thy presence;
    That which the silent does not, never the boastful can do.
   Vigor in man I expect, the law in its honors maintaining,
    But, through the graces alone, woman e'er rules or should rule.
   Many, indeed, have ruled through the might of the spirit and action,
    But then thou noblest of crowns, they were deficient in thee.
   No real queen exists but the womanly beauty of woman;
    Where it appears, it must rule; ruling because it appears!




          THE TWO PATHS OF VIRTUE.

   Two are the pathways by which mankind can to virtue mount upward;
    If thou should find the one barred, open the other will lie.
   'Tis by exertion the happy obtain her, the suffering by patience.
    Blest is the man whose kind fate guides him along upon both!




    THE PROVERBS OF CONFUCIUS.

          I.

   Threefold is the march of time
    While the future slow advances,
    Like a dart the present glances,
   Silent stands the past sublime.

   No impatience e'er can speed him
    On his course if he delay;
   No alarm, no doubts impede him
    If he keep his onward way;
   No regrets, no magic numbers
   Wake the tranced one from his slumbers.
   Wouldst thou wisely and with pleasure,
   Pass the days of life's short measure,
   From the slow one counsel take,
   But a tool of him ne'er make;
   Ne'er as friend the swift one know,
   Nor the constant one as foe!

          II.

   Threefold is the form of space:
   Length, with ever restless motion,
   Seeks eternity's wide ocean;
   Breadth with boundless sway extends;
   Depth to unknown realms descends.

   All as types to thee are given;
   Thou must onward strive for heaven,
   Never still or weary be
   Would'st thou perfect glory see;
   Far must thy researches go.
   Wouldst thou learn the world to know;
   Thou must tempt the dark abyss
   Wouldst thou prove what Being is.

   Naught but firmness gains the prize,--
   Naught but fulness makes us wise,--
   Buried deep, truth ever lies!




           HUMAN KNOWLEDGE.

   Since thou readest in her what thou thyself hast there written,
    And, to gladden the eye, placest her wonders in groups;--
   Since o'er her boundless expanses thy cords to extend thou art able,
    Thou dost think that thy mind wonderful Nature can grasp.
   Thus the astronomer draws his figures over the heavens,
    So that he may with more ease traverse the infinite space,
   Knitting together e'en suns that by Sirius-distance are parted,
    Making them join in the swan and in the horns of the bull.
   But because the firmament shows him its glorious surface,
    Can he the spheres' mystic dance therefore decipher aright?




             COLUMBUS.

   Steer on, bold sailor--Wit may mock thy soul that sees the land,
   And hopeless at the helm may droop the weak and weary hand,
   Yet ever--ever to the West, for there the coast must lie,
   And dim it dawns, and glimmering dawns before thy reason's eye;
   Yea, trust the guiding God--and go along the floating grave,
   Though hid till now--yet now behold the New World o'er the wave!
   With genius Nature ever stands in solemn union still,
   And ever what the one foretells the other shall fulfil.




      LIGHT AND WARMTH.

   In cheerful faith that fears no ill
    The good man doth the world begin;
   And dreams that all without shall still
    Reflect the trusting soul within.
   Warm with the noble vows of youth,
   Hallowing his true arm to the truth;

   Yet is the littleness of all
    So soon to sad experience shown,
   That crowds but teach him to recall
    And centre thought on self alone;
   Till love, no more, emotion knows,
   And the heart freezes to repose.

   Alas! though truth may light bestow,
    Not always warmth the beams impart,
   Blest he who gains the boon to know,
    Nor buys the knowledge with the heart.
   For warmth and light a blessing both to be,
   Feel as the enthusiast--as the world-wise see.




        BREADTH AND DEPTH.

   Full many a shining wit one sees,
    With tongue on all things well conversing;
   The what can charm, the what can please,
    In every nice detail rehearsing.
   Their raptures so transport the college,
   It seems one honeymoon of knowledge.

   Yet out they go in silence where
    They whilom held their learned prate;
   Ah! he who would achieve the fair,
    Or sow the embryo of the great,
   Must hoard--to wait the ripening hour--
   In the least point the loftiest power.

   With wanton boughs and pranksome hues,
    Aloft in air aspires the stem;
   The glittering leaves inhale the dews,
    But fruits are not concealed in them.
   From the small kernel's undiscerned repose
   The oak that lords it o'er the forest grows.




        THE TWO GUIDES OF LIFE.

      THE SUBLIME AND THE BEAUTIFUL.

 Two genii are there, from thy birth through weary life to guide thee;
 Ah, happy when, united both, they stand to aid beside thee?
 With gleesome play to cheer the path, the one comes blithe with beauty,
 And lighter, leaning on her arm, the destiny and duty.
 With jest and sweet discourse she goes unto the rock sublime,
 Where halts above the eternal sea [57] the shuddering child of time.
 The other here, resolved and mute and solemn, claspeth thee,
 And bears thee in her giant arms across the fearful sea.
 Never admit the one alone!--Give not the gentle guide
 Thy honor--nor unto the stern thy happiness confide!




         THE IMMUTABLE.

   Time flies on restless pinions--constant never.
   Be constant--and thou chainest time forever.




         VOTIVE TABLETS.

   That which I learned from the Deity,--
    that which through lifetime hath helped me,
   Meekly and gratefully now, here I suspend in his shrine.


        DIFFERENT DESTINIES.

 Millions busily toil, that the human race may continue;
  But by only a few is propagated our kind.
 Thousands of seeds by the autumn are scattered, yet fruit is engendered
  Only by few, for the most back to the element go.
 But if one only can blossom, that one is able to scatter
  Even a bright living world, filled with creations eterne.


        THE ANIMATING PRINCIPLE.

   Nowhere in the organic or sensitive world ever kindles
    Novelty, save in the flower, noblest creation of life.


        TWO DESCRIPTIONS OF ACTION.

   Do what is good, and humanity's godlike plant thou wilt nourish;
    Plan what is fair, and thou'lt strew seeds of the godlike around.


        DIFFERENCE OF STATION.

   Even the moral world its nobility boasts--vulgar natures
    Reckon by that which they do; noble, by that which they are.


        WORTH AND THE WORTHY.

   If thou anything hast, let me have it,--I'll pay what is proper;
    If thou anything art, let us our spirits exchange.


        THE MORAL FORCE.

 If thou feelest not the beautiful, still thou with reason canst will it;
  And as a spirit canst do, that which as man thou canst not.


        PARTICIPATION.

   E'en by the hand of the wicked can truth be working with vigor;
    But the vessel is filled by what is beauteous alone.


        TO ----

 Tell me all that thou knowest, and I will thankfully hear it!
  But wouldst thou give me thyself,--let me, my friend, be excused!


        TO ----

 Wouldst thou teach me the truth? Don't take the trouble! I wish not,
  Through thee, the thing to observe,--but to see thee through the thing.


        TO ----

   Thee would I choose as my teacher and friend. Thy living example
    Teaches me,--thy teaching word wakens my heart unto life.


        THE PRESENT GENERATION.

   Was it always as now? This race I truly can't fathom.
    Nothing is young but old age; youth, alas! only is old.


        TO THE MUSE.

   What I had been without thee, I know not--yet, to my sorrow
    See I what, without thee, hundreds and thousands now are.


        THE LEARNED WORKMAN.

Ne'er does he taste the fruit of the tree that he raised with such trouble;
 Nothing but taste e'er enjoys that which by learning is reared.


        THE DUTY OF ALL.

   Ever strive for the whole; and if no whole thou canst make thee,
    Join, then, thyself to some whole, as a subservient limb!


        A PROBLEM.

   Let none resemble another; let each resemble the highest!
    How can that happen? let each be all complete in itself.


        THE PECULIAR IDEAL.

 What thou thinkest, belongs to all; what thou feelest, is thine only.
  Wouldst thou make him thine own, feel thou the God whom thou thinkest!


        TO MYSTICS.

   That is the only true secret, which in the presence of all men
    Lies, and surrounds thee for ay, but which is witnessed by none.


        THE KEY.

   Wouldst thou know thyself, observe the actions of others.
    Wouldst thou other men know, look thou within thine own heart.

        THE OBSERVER.

   Stern as my conscience, thou seest the points wherein I'm deficient;
    Therefore I've always loved thee, as my own conscience I've loved.


        WISDOM AND PRUDENCE.

   Wouldst thou, my friend, mount up to the highest summit of wisdom,
    Be not deterred by the fear, prudence thy course may deride
   That shortsighted one sees but the bank that from thee is flying,
    Not the one which ere long thou wilt attain with bold flight.


        THE AGREEMENT.

   Both of us seek for truth--in the world without thou dost seek it,
    I in the bosom within; both of us therefore succeed.
   If the eye be healthy, it sees from without the Creator;
    And if the heart, then within doubtless it mirrors the world.


        POLITICAL PRECEPT.

   All that thou doest is right; but, friend, don't carry this precept
    On too far,--be content, all that is right to effect.
   It is enough to true zeal, if what is existing be perfect;
   False zeal always would find finished perfection at once.


        MAJESTAS POPULI.

   Majesty of the nature of man! In crowds shall I seek thee?
    'Tis with only a few that thou hast made thine abode.
   Only a few ever count; the rest are but blanks of no value,
    And the prizes are hid 'neath the vain stir that they make.


        THE DIFFICULT UNION.

   Why are taste and genius so seldom met with united?
    Taste of strength is afraid,--genius despises the rein.


        TO A WORLD-REFORMER.

   "I Have sacrificed all," thou sayest, "that man I might succor;
    Vain the attempt; my reward was persecution and hate."
   Shall I tell thee, my friend, how I to humor him manage?
    Trust the proverb! I ne'er have been deceived by it yet.
   Thou canst not sufficiently prize humanity's value;
    Let it be coined in deed as it exists in thy breast.
   E'en to the man whom thou chancest to meet in life's narrow pathway,
    If he should ask it of thee, hold forth a succoring hand.
   But for rain and for dew, for the general welfare of mortals,
    Leave thou Heaven to care, friend, as before, so e'en now.


        MY ANTIPATHY.

I have a heartfelt aversion for crime,--a twofold aversion,
 Since 'tis the reason why man prates about virtue so much.
"What! thou hatest, then, virtue?"--I would that by all it were practised,
 So that, God willing, no man ever need speak of it more.


        ASTRONOMICAL WRITINGS.

   Oh, how infinite, how unspeakably great, are the heavens!
    Yet by frivolity's hand downwards the heavens are pulled!


       THE BEST STATE.

   "How can I know the best state?"
     In the way that thou know'st the best woman;
   Namely, my friend, that the world ever is silent of both.


        TO ASTRONOMERS.

 Prate not to me so much of suns and of nebulous bodies;
  Think ye Nature but great, in that she gives thee to count?
 Though your object may be the sublimest that space holds within it,
  Yet, my good friends, the sublime dwells not in the regions of space.


        MY FAITH.

   Which religion do I acknowledge? None that thou namest.
    "None that I name? And why so?"--Why, for religion's own sake?


        INSIDE AND OUTSIDE.

   God alone sees the heart and therefore, since he alone sees it,
    Be it our care that we, too, something that's worthy may see.


        FRIEND AND FOE.

 Dearly I love a friend; yet a foe I may turn to my profit;
  Friends show me that which I can; foes teach me that which I should.


        LIGHT AND COLOR.

Thou that art ever the same, with the changeless One take up thy dwelling!
 Color, thou changeable one, kindly descends upon man!


        GENIUS.

   Understanding, indeed, can repeat what already existed,--
    That which Nature has built, after her she, too, can build.
   Over Nature can reason build, but in vacancy only:
    But thou, genius, alone, nature in nature canst form.


        BEAUTEOUS INDIVIDUALITY.

Thou in truth shouldst be one, yet not with the whole shouldst thou be so.
 'Tis through the reason thou'rt one,--art so with it through the heart.
Voice of the whole is thy reason, but thou thine own heart must be ever;
 If in thy heart reason dwells evermore, happy art thou.


        VARIETY.

   Many are good and wise; yet all for one only reckon,
    For 'tis conception, alas, rules them, and not a fond heart.
   Sad is the sway of conception,--from thousandfold varying figures,
    Needy and empty but one it is e'er able to bring.
   But where creative beauty is ruling, there life and enjoyment
    Dwell; to the ne'er-changing One, thousands of new forms she gives.


        THE IMITATOR.

   Good from the good,--to the reason this is not hard of conception;
    But the genius has power good from the bad to evoke.
   'Tis the conceived alone, that thou, imitator, canst practise;
    Food the conceived never is, save to the mind that conceives.


        GENIALITY.

   How does the genius make itself known? In the way that in nature
    Shows the Creator himself,--e'en in the infinite whole.
   Clear is the ether, and yet of depth that ne'er can be fathomed;
    Seen by the eye, it remains evermore closed to the sense.


        THE INQUIRERS.

 Men now seek to explore each thing from within and without too!
  How canst thou make thy escape, Truth, from their eager pursuit?
 That they may catch thee, with nets and poles extended they seek thee
  But with a spirit-like tread, glidest thou out of the throng.


        CORRECTNESS.

   Free from blemish to be, is the lowest of steps, and highest;
    Weakness and greatness alone ever arrive at this point.


        THE THREE AGES OF NATURE.

   Life she received from fable; the schools deprived her of being,
    Life creative again she has from reason received.


        THE LAW OF NATURE.

   It has ever been so, my friend, and will ever remain so:
    Weakness has rules for itself,--vigor is crowned with success.

        CHOICE.

 If thou canst not give pleasure to all by thy deeds and thy knowledge,
  Give it then, unto the few; many to please is but vain.


        SCIENCE OF MUSIC.

   Let the creative art breathe life, and the bard furnish spirit;
    But the soul is expressed by Polyhymnia alone.


        TO THE POET.

   Let thy speech be to thee what the body is to the loving;
    Beings it only can part,--beings it only can join.


        LANGUAGE.

   Why can the living spirit be never seen by the spirit?
    Soon as the soul 'gins to speak, then can the soul speak no more!


        THE MASTER.

   Other masters one always can tell by the words that they utter;
    That which he wisely omits shows me the master of style.


        THE GIRDLE.

   Aphrodite preserves her beauty concealed by her girdle;
    That which lends her her charms is what she covers--her shame.


        THE DILETTANTE.

   Merely because thou hast made a good verse in a language poetic,
    One which composes for thee, thou art a poet forsooth!


        THE BABBLER OF ART.

   Dost thou desire the good in art? Of the good art thou worthy,
    Which by a ne'er ceasing war 'gainst thee thyself is produced?


        THE PHILOSOPHIES.

   Which among the philosophies will be enduring? I know not,
    But that philosophy's self ever may last is my hope.


        THE FAVOR OF THE MUSES.

   Fame with the vulgar expires; but, Muse immortal, thou bearest
    Those whom thou lovest, who love thee, into Mnemosyne's arms.


        HOMER'S HEAD AS A SEAL.

   Trusty old Homer! to thee I confide the secret so tender;
    For the raptures of love none but the bard should e'er know.


        GOODNESS AND GREATNESS.

   Only two virtues exist. Oh, would they were ever united!
    Ever the good with the great, ever the great with the good!


        THE IMPULSES.

   Fear with his iron staff may urge the slave onward forever;
    Rapture, do thou lead me on ever in roseate chains!


        NATURALISTS AND TRANSCENDENTAL PHILOSOPHERS.

   Enmity be between ye! Your union too soon is cemented;
    Ye will but learn to know truth when ye divide in the search.


        GERMAN GENIUS.

 Strive, O German, for Roman-like strength and for Grecian-like beauty!
  Thou art successful in both; ne'er has the Gaul had success.


        THEOPHANIA.

   When the happy appear, I forget the gods in the heavens;
    But before me they stand, when I the suffering see.




          TRIFLES.


        THE EPIC HEXAMETER.

   Giddily onward it bears thee with resistless impetuous billows;
    Naught but the ocean and air seest thou before or behind.


        THE DISTICH.

   In the hexameter rises the fountain's watery column,
    In the pentameter sweet falling in melody down.


        THE EIGHT-LINE STANZA.

   Stanza, by love thou'rt created,--by love, all-tender and yearning;
    Thrice dost thou bashfully fly; thrice dost with longing return.


        THE OBELISK.

   On a pedestal lofty the sculptor in triumph has raised me.
    "Stand thou," spake he,--and I stand proudly and joyfully here.


        THE TRIUMPHAL ARCH.

"Fear not," the builder exclaimed, "the rainbow that stands in the heavens;
 I will extend thee, like it, into infinity far!"


        THE BEAUTIFUL BRIDGE.

   Under me, over me, hasten the waters, the chariots; my builder
    Kindly has suffered e'en me, over myself, too, to go!


        THE GATE.

   Let the gate open stand, to allure the savage to precepts;
    Let it the citizen lead into free nature with joy.


        ST. PETER'S.

   If thou seekest to find immensity here, thou'rt mistaken;
    For my greatness is meant greater to make thee thyself!




        THE PHILOSOPHERS.

 PUPIL.
 I am rejoiced, worthy sirs, to find you in pleno assembled;
   For I have come down below, seeking the one needful thing.

 ARISTOTLE.
 Quick to the point, my good friend! For the Jena Gazette comes
    to hand here,
  Even in hell,--so we know all that is passing above.

 PUPIL.
 So much the better! So give me (I will not depart hence without it)
  Some good principle now,--one that will always avail!

 FIRST PHILOSOPHER.
 Cogito, ergo sum. I have thought, and therefore existence!
  If the first be but true, then is the second one sure.

 PUPIL.
 As I think, I exist. 'Tis good! But who always is thinking?
  Oft I've existed e'en when I have been thinking of naught.

 SECOND PHILOSOPHER.
 Since there are things that exist, a thing of all things there must
    needs be;
  In the thing of all things dabble we, just as we are.

 THIRD PHILOSOPHER.
 Just the reverse, say I. Besides myself there is nothing;
  Everything else that there is is but a bubble to me.

 FOURTH PHILOSOPHER.
 Two kinds of things I allow to exist,--the world and the spirit;
  Naught of others I know; even these signify one.

 FIFTH PHILOSOPHER.
 I know naught of the thing, and know still less of the spirit;
  Both but appear unto me; yet no appearance they are.

 SIXTH PHILOSOPHER.
 I am I, and settle myself,--and if I then settle
  Nothing to be, well and good--there's a nonentity formed.

 SEVENTH PHILOSOPHER.
 There is conception at least! A thing conceived there is, therefore;
  And a conceiver as well,--which, with conception, make three.

 PUPIL.
 All this nonsense, good sirs, won't answer my purpose a tittle:
  I a real principle need,--one by which something is fixed.

 EIGHTH PHILOSOPHER.
 Nothing is now to be found in the theoretical province;
  Practical principles hold, such as: thou canst, for thou shouldst.

 PUPIL.
 If I but thought so! When people know no more sensible answer,
  Into the conscience at once plunge they with desperate haste.

 DAVID HUME.
 Don't converse with those fellows! That Kant has turned them all crazy;
  Speak to me, for in hell I am the same that I was.

 LAW POINT.
 I have made use of my nose for years together to smell with;
  Have I a right to my nose that can be legally proved?

 PUFFENDORF.
 Truly a delicate point! Yet the first possession appeareth
  In thy favor to tell; therefore make use of it still!


 SCRUPLE OF CONSCIENCE.
 Willingly serve I my friends; but, alas, I do it with pleasure;
  Therefore I often am vexed that no true virtue I have.

 DECISION.
 As there is no other means, thou hadst better begin to despise them;
  And with aversion, then, do that which thy duty commands.




          THE HOMERIDES.

 Who is the bard of the Iliad among you? For since he likes puddings,
  Heyne begs he'll accept these that from Gottingen come.
 "Give them to me! The kings' quarrel I sang!"--
  "I, the fight near the vessels!"--"Hand me the puddings!
 I sang what upon Ida took place!"
  Gently! Don't tear me to pieces! The puddings will not be sufficient;
 He by whom they are sent destined them only for one.




          G. G.

   Each one, when seen by himself, is passably wise and judicious;
   When they in corpore are, naught but a blockhead is seen.




          THE MORAL POET.

 Man is in truth a poor creature,--I know it,--and fain would forget it;
  Therefore (how sorry I am!) came I, alas, unto thee!




          THE DANAIDES.

   Into the sieve we've been pouring for years,--
     o'er the stone we've been brooding;
   But the stone never warms,--nor does the sieve ever fill.




          THE SUBLIME SUBJECT.

   'Tis thy Muse's delight to sing God's pity to mortals;
    But, that they pitiful are,--is it a matter for song?




          THE ARTIFICE.

   Wouldst thou give pleasure at once to the children of earth and
     the righteous?
   Draw the image of lust--adding the devil as well!




          IMMORTALITY.

 Dreadest thou the aspect of death! Thou wishest to live on forever?
  Live in the whole, and when long thou shalt have gone, 'twill remain!




          JEREMIADS.

All, both in prose and in verse, in Germany fast is decaying;
 Far behind us, alas, lieth the golden age now!
For by philosophers spoiled is our language--our logic by poets,
 And no more common sense governs our passage through life.
From the aesthetic, to which she belongs, now virtue is driven,
 And into politics forced, where she's a troublesome guest.
Where are we hastening now? If natural, dull we are voted,
 And if we put on constraint, then the world calls us absurd.
Oh, thou joyous artlessness 'mongst the poor maidens of Leipzig,
 Witty simplicity come,--come, then, to glad us again!
Comedy, oh repeat thy weekly visits so precious,
 Sigismund, lover so sweet,--Mascarill, valet jocose!
Tragedy, full of salt and pungency epigrammatic,--
 And thou, minuet-step of our old buskin preserved!
Philosophic romance, thou mannikin waiting with patience,
 When, 'gainst the pruner's attack, Nature defendeth herself!
Ancient prose, oh return,--so nobly and boldly expressing
 All that thou thinkest and hast thought,--and what the reader thinks too
All, both in prose and in verse, in Germany fast is decaying;
 Far behind us, alas, lieth the golden age now!




        SHAKESPEARE'S GHOST.

          A PARODY.

 I, too, at length discerned great Hercules' energy mighty,--
  Saw his shade. He himself was not, alas, to be seen.
 Round him were heard, like the screaming of birds,
     the screams of tragedians,
  And, with the baying of dogs, barked dramaturgists around.
 There stood the giant in all his terrors; his bow was extended,
  And the bolt, fixed on the string, steadily aimed at the heart.
 "What still hardier action, unhappy one, dost thou now venture,
  Thus to descend to the grave of the departed souls here?"--
 "'Tis to see Tiresias I come, to ask of the prophet
  Where I the buskin of old, that now has vanished, may find?"
 "If they believe not in Nature, nor the old Grecian, but vainly
  Wilt thou convey up from hence that dramaturgy to them."
 "Oh, as for Nature, once more to tread our stage she has ventured,
  Ay, and stark-naked beside, so that each rib we count."
 "What? Is the buskin of old to be seen in truth on your stage, then,
  Which even I came to fetch, out of mid-Tartarus' gloom?"--
 "There is now no more of that tragic bustle, for scarcely
  Once in a year on the boards moves thy great soul, harness-clad."
 "Doubtless 'tis well! Philosophy now has refined your sensations,
  And from the humor so bright fly the affections so black."--
 "Ay, there is nothing that beats a jest that is stolid and barren,
  But then e'en sorrow can please, if 'tis sufficiently moist."
 "But do ye also exhibit the graceful dance of Thalia,
  Joined to the solemn step with which Melpomene moves?"--
 "Neither! For naught we love but what is Christian and moral;
  And what is popular, too, homely, domestic, and plain."
 "What? Does no Caesar, does no Achilles, appear on your stage now,
  Not an Andromache e'en, not an Orestes, my friend?"
 "No! there is naught to be seen there but parsons,
     and syndics of commerce,
  Secretaries perchance, ensigns, and majors of horse."
 "But, my good friend, pray tell me, what can such people e'er meet with
  That can be truly called great?--what that is great can they do?"
 "What? Why they form cabals, they lend upon mortgage, they pocket
  Silver spoons, and fear not e'en in the stocks to be placed."
 "Whence do ye, then, derive the destiny, great and gigantic,
  Which raises man up on high, e'en when it grinds him to dust?"--
 "All mere nonsense! Ourselves, our worthy acquaintances also,
  And our sorrows and wants, seek we, and find we, too, here."
 "But all this ye possess at home both apter and better,--
  Wherefore, then, fly from yourselves, if 'tis yourselves that ye seek?"
 "Be not offended, great hero, for that is a different question;
  Ever is destiny blind,--ever is righteous the bard."
 "Then one meets on your stage your own contemptible nature,
  While 'tis in vain one seeks there nature enduring and great?"
 "There the poet is host, and act the fifth is the reckoning;
  And, when crime becomes sick, virtue sits down to the feast!"




          THE RIVERS.


            RHINE.

   True, as becometh a Switzer, I watch over Germany's borders;
    But the light-footed Gaul jumps o'er the suffering stream.


          RHINE AND MOSELLE.

   Many a year have I clasped in my arms the Lorrainian maiden;
    But our union as yet ne'er has been blest with a son.


          DANUBE IN ----

   Round me are dwelling the falcon-eyed race, the Phaeacian people;
    Sunday with them never ends; ceaselessly moves round the spit.


          MAIN.

   Ay, it is true that my castles are crumbling; yet, to my comfort,
    Have I for centuries past seen my old race still endure.


          SAALE.

   Short is my course, during which I salute many princes and nations;
    Yet the princes are good--ay! and the nations are free.


          ILM.

   Poor are my banks, it is true; but yet my soft-flowing waters
    Many immortal lays here, borne by the current along.


          PLEISSE.

   Flat is my shore and shallow my current; alas, all my writers,
    Both in prose and in verse, drink far too deep of its stream!


          ELBE.

   All ye others speak only a jargon; 'mongst Germany's rivers
    None speak German but me; I but in Misnia alone.


          SPREE.

   Ramler once gave me language,--my Caesar a subject; and therefore
    I had my mouth then stuffed full; but I've been silent since that.


          WESER.

   Nothing, alas, can be said about me; I really can't furnish
    Matter enough to the Muse e'en for an epigram, small.


          MINERAL WATERS AT ----.

   Singular country! what excellent taste in its fountains and rivers
    In its people alone none have I ever yet found!


          PEGNTTZ.

   I for a long time have been a hypochondriacal subject;
    I but flow on because it has my habit been long.


          THE ---- RIVERS.

   We would gladly remain in the lands that own--as their masters;
    Soft their yoke ever is, and all their burdens are light.


          SALZACH.

   I, to salt the archbishopric, come from Juvavia's mountains;
    Then to Bavaria turn, where they have great need of salt!


          THE ANONYMOUS RIVER.

   Lenten food for the pious bishop's table to furnish,
    By my Creator I'm poured over the famishing land.


          LES FLEUVES INDISCRETS.

   Pray be silent, ye rivers! One sees ye have no more discretion
    Than, in a case we could name, Diderot's favorites had.




          ZENITH AND NADIR.

   Wheresoever thou wanderest in space, thy Zenith and Nadir
    Unto the heavens knit thee, unto the axis of earth.
   Howsoever thou attest, let heaven be moved by thy purpose,
    Let the aim of thy deeds traverse the axis of earth!




        KANT AND HIS COMMENTATORS.

   See how a single rich man gives a living to numbers of beggars!
    'Tis when sovereigns build, carters are kept in employ.




        THE PHILOSOPHERS.

   The principle by which each thing
    Toward strength and shape first tended,--
   The pulley whereon Zeus the ring
   Of earth, that loosely used to swing,
    With cautiousness suspended,--
   he is a clever man, I vow,
   Who its real name can tell me now,
   Unless to help him I consent--
   'Tis: ten and twelve are different!

   Fire burns,--'tis chilly when it snows,
    Man always is two-footed,--
   The sun across the heavens goes,--
   This, he who naught of logic knows
    Finds to his reason suited.
   Yet he who metaphysics learns,
   Knows that naught freezes when it burns--
   Knows that what's wet is never dry,--
   And that what's bright attracts the eye.

   Old Homer sings his noble lays,
    The hero goes through dangers;
   The brave man duty's call obeys,
   And did so, even in the days
    When sages yet were strangers--
   But heart and genius now have taught
   What Locke and what Descartes never thought;
   By them immediately is shown
   That which is possible alone.

   In life avails the right of force.
    The bold the timid worries;
   Who rules not, is a slave of course,
   Without design each thing across
    Earth's stage forever hurries.
   Yet what would happen if the plan
   Which guides the world now first began,
   Within the moral system lies
   Disclosed with clearness to our eyes.

   "When man would seek his destiny,
    Man's help must then be given;
   Save for the whole, ne'er labors he,--
   Of many drops is formed the sea,--
    By water mills are driven;
   Therefore the wolf's wild species flies,--
   Knit are the state's enduring ties."
   Thus Puffendorf and Feder, each
   Is, ex cathedra, wont to teach.

   Yet, if what such professors say,
    Each brain to enter durst not,
   Nature exerts her mother-sway,
   Provides that ne'er the chain gives way,
    And that the ripe fruits burst not.
   Meanwhile, until earth's structure vast
   Philosophy can bind at last,
   'Tis she that bids its pinion move,
   By means of hunger and of love!




        THE METAPHYSICIAN.

   "How far beneath me seems the earthly ball!
    The pigmy race below I scarce can see;
   How does my art, the noblest art of all,
    Bear me close up to heaven's bright canopy!"
   So cries the slater from his tower's high top,
    And so the little would-be mighty man,
   Hans Metaphysicus, from out his critic-shop.
    Explain, thou little would-be mighty man!
   The tower from which thy looks the world survey,
   Whereof,--whereon is it erected, pray?
   How didst thou mount it? Of what use to thee
   Its naked heights, save o'er the vale to see?




        PEGASUS IN HARNESS.

   Once to a horse-fair,--it may perhaps have been
   Where other things are bought and sold,--I mean
   At the Haymarket,--there the muses' horse
   A hungry poet brought--to sell, of course.

   'The hippogriff neighed shrilly, loudly,
   And reared upon his hind-legs proudly;
   In utter wonderment each stood and cried:
   "The noble regal beast!" But, woe betide!
   Two hideous wings his slender form deface,
   The finest team he else would not disgrace.
   "The breed," said they, "is doubtless rare,
   But who would travel through the air?"
   Not one of them would risk his gold.
   At length a farmer grew more bold:
   "As for his wings, I of no use should find them,
   But then how easy 'tis to clip or bind them!
   The horse for drawing may be useful found,--
   So, friend, I don't mind giving twenty pound!"
   The other glad to sell his merchandise,
   Cried, "Done!"--and Hans rode off upon his prize.

   The noble creature was, ere long, put-to,
    But scarcely felt the unaccustomed load,
   Than, panting to soar upwards, off he flew,
   And, filled with honest anger, overthrew
    The cart where an abyss just met the road.
   "Ho! ho!" thought Hans: "No cart to this mad beast
   I'll trust. Experience makes one wise at least.
   To drive the coach to-morrow now my course is,
    And he as leader in the team shall go.
   The lively fellow'll save me full two horses;
    As years pass on, he'll doubtless tamer grow."

   All went on well at first. The nimble steed
   His partners roused,--like lightning was their speed.
   What happened next? Toward heaven was turned his eye,--
   Unused across the solid ground to fly,
   He quitted soon the safe and beaten course,
   And true to nature's strong resistless force,
   Ran over bog and moor, o'er hedge and pasture tilled;
   An equal madness soon the other horses filled--
   No reins could hold them in, no help was near,
   Till,--only picture the poor travellers' fear!--
   The coach, well shaken, and completely wrecked,
   Upon a hill's steep top at length was checked.

   "If this is always sure to be the case,"
   Hans cried, and cut a very sorry face,
   "He'll never do to draw a coach or wagon;
   Let's see if we can't tame the fiery dragon
   By means of heavy work and little food."
   And so the plan was tried.--But what ensued?
   The handsome beast, before three days had passed,
   Wasted to nothing. "Stay! I see at last!"
   Cried Hans. "Be quick, you fellows! yoke him now
   With my most sturdy ox before the plough."

   No sooner said than done. In union queer
   Together yoked were soon winged horse and steer.
   The griffin pranced with rage, and his remaining might
   Exerted to resume his old-accustomed flight.
   'Twas all in vain--his partner stepped with circumspection,
   And Phoebus' haughty steed must follow his direction;
   Until at last, by long resistance spent,
    When strength his limbs no longer was controlling,
   The noble creature, with affliction bent,
    Fell to the ground, and in the dust lay rolling.
   "Accursed beast!" at length with fury mad
    Hans shouted, while he soundly plied the lash,--
   "Even for ploughing, then, thou art too bad!--
    That fellow was a rogue to sell such trash!"

   Ere yet his heavy blows had ceased to fly,
   A brisk and merry youth by chance came by.
   A lute was tinkling in his hand,
    And through his light and flowing hair
   Was twined with grace a golden band.
    "Whither, my friend, with that strange pair?"
   From far he to the peasant cried.
   "A bird and ox to one rope tied--
   Was such a team e'er heard of, pray?
   Thy horse's worth I'd fain essay;
   Just for one moment lend him me,--
   Observe, and thou shalt wonders see!"

   The hippogriff was loosened from the plough,
   Upon his back the smiling youth leaped now;
   No sooner did the creature understand
   That he was guided by a master-hand,
   Than 'ginst his bit he champed, and upward soared
   While lightning from his flaming eyes outpoured.
   No longer the same being, royally
   A spirit, ay, a god, ascended he,
   Spread in a moment to the stormy wind
   His noble wings, and left the earth behind,
   And, ere the eye could follow him,
   Had vanished in the heavens dim.




          KNOWLEDGE.

   Knowledge to one is a goddess both heavenly and high,--to another
    Only an excellent cow, yielding the butter he wants.




        THE POETRY OF LIFE.

   "Who would himself with shadows entertain,
   Or gild his life with lights that shine in vain,
   Or nurse false hopes that do but cheat the true?--
   Though with my dream my heaven should be resigned--
   Though the free-pinioned soul that once could dwell
   In the large empire of the possible,
   This workday life with iron chains may bind,
   Yet thus the mastery o'er ourselves we find,
   And solemn duty to our acts decreed,
   Meets us thus tutored in the hour of need,
   With a more sober and submissive mind!
   How front necessity--yet bid thy youth
   Shun the mild rule of life's calm sovereign, truth."

   So speakest thou, friend, how stronger far than I;
   As from experience--that sure port serene--
   Thou lookest;--and straight, a coldness wraps the sky,
   The summer glory withers from the scene,
   Scared by the solemn spell; behold them fly,
   The godlike images that seemed so fair!
   Silent the playful Muse--the rosy hours
   Halt in their dance; and the May-breathing flowers
   Fall from the sister-graces' waving hair.
   Sweet-mouthed Apollo breaks his golden lyre,
   Hermes, the wand with many a marvel rife;--
   The veil, rose-woven, by the young desire
   With dreams, drops from the hueless cheeks of life.
   The world seems what it is--a grave! and love
   Casts down the bondage wound his eyes above,
   And sees!--He sees but images of clay
   Where he dreamed gods; and sighs--and glides away.
   The youngness of the beautiful grows old,
   And on thy lips the bride's sweet kiss seems cold;
   And in the crowd of joys--upon thy throne
   Thou sittest in state, and hardenest into stone.




          TO GOETHE,

   ON HIS PRODUCING VOLTAIRE'S "MAHOMET" ON THE STAGE.

   Thou, by whom, freed from rules constrained and wrong,
    On truth and nature once again we're placed,--
   Who, in the cradle e'en a hero strong,
    Stiffest the serpents round our genius laced,--
   Thou whom the godlike science has so long
    With her unsullied sacred fillet graced,--
   Dost thou on ruined altars sacrifice
   To that false muse whom we no longer prize?

   This theatre belongs to native art,
    No foreign idols worshipped here are seen;
   A laurel we can show, with joyous heart,
    That on the German Pindus has grown green
   The sciences' most holy, hidden part
    The German genius dares to enter e'en,
   And, following the Briton and the Greek,
   A nobler glory now attempts to seek.

   For yonder, where slaves kneel, and despots hold
    The reins,--where spurious greatness lifts its head,
   Art has no power the noble there to mould,
    'Tis by no Louis that its seed is spread;
   From its own fulness it must needs unfold,
    By earthly majesty 'tis never fed;
   'Tis with truth only it can e'er unite,
   Its glow free spirits only e'er can light.

   'Tis not to bind us in a worn-out chain
    Thou dost this play of olden time recall,--
   'Tis not to seek to lead us back again
    To days when thoughtless childhood ruled o'er all.
   It were, in truth, an idle risk and vain
    Into the moving wheel of time to fall;
   The winged hours forever bear it on,
   The new arrives, and, lo! the old has gone.

   The narrow theatre is now more wide,
    Into its space a universe now steals;
   In pompous words no longer is our pride,
    Nature we love when she her form reveals;
   Fashion's false rules no more are deified;
    And as a man the hero acts and feels.
   'Tis passion makes the notes of freedom sound,
   And 'tis in truth the beautiful is found.

   Weak is the frame of Thespis' chariot fair,
    Resembling much the bark of Acheron,
   That carries naught but shades and forms of air;
    And if rude life should venture to press on,
   The fragile bark its weight no more can bear,
    For fleeting spirits it can hold alone.
   Appearance ne'er can reach reality,--
   If nature be victorious, art must fly.

   For on the stage's boarded scaffold here
    A world ideal opens to our eyes,
   Nothing is true and genuine save--a tear;
    Emotion on no dream of sense relies.
   The real Melpomene is still sincere,
    Naught as a fable merely she supplies--
   By truth profound to charm us is her care;
   The false one, truth pretends, but to ensnare.

   Now from the scene, art threatens to retire,
    Her kingdom wild maintains still phantasy;
   The stage she like the world would set on fire,
    The meanest and the noblest mingles she.
   The Frank alone 'tis art can now inspire,
    And yet her archetype can his ne'er be;
   In bounds unchangeable confining her,
   He holds her fast, and vainly would she stir.

   The stage to him is pure and undefiled;
    Chased from the regions that to her belong
   Are Nature's tones, so careless and so wild,
    To him e'en language rises into song;
   A realm harmonious 'tis, of beauty mild,
    Where limb unites to limb in order strong.
   The whole into a solemn temple blends,
   And 'tis the dance that grace to motion lends.

   And yet the Frank must not be made our guide.
    For in his art no living spirit reigns:
   The boasting gestures of a spurious pride
    That mind which only loves the true disdains.
   To nobler ends alone be it applied,
    Returning, like some soul's long-vanished manes.
   To render the oft-sullied stage once more
   A throne befitting the great muse of yore.




          THE PRESENT.

 Ring and staff, oh to me on a Rhenish flask ye are welcome!
  Him a true shepherd I call, who thus gives drink to his sheep.
 Draught thrice blest! It is by the Muse I have won thee,--the Muse, too,
  Sends thee,--and even the church places upon thee her seal.




          DEPARTURE FROM LIFE.

Two are the roads that before thee lie open from life to conduct thee;
  To the ideal one leads thee, the other to death.
See that while yet thou art free, on the first thou commencest thy journey,
  Ere by the merciless fates on to the other thou'rt led!




   VERSES WRITTEN IN THE FOLIO ALBUM OF A LEARNED FRIEND.

   Once wisdom dwelt in tomes of ponderous size,
    While friendship from a pocketbook would talk;
   But now that knowledge in small compass lies,
    And floats in almanacs, as light as cork,
   Courageous man, thou dost not hesitate
   To open for thy friends this house so great!
   Hast thou no fear, I seriously would ask,
   That thou may'st thus their patience overtask?




     VERSES WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM OF A FRIEND.

        (HERR VON MECHELN OF BASLE.)

   Nature in charms is exhaustless, in beauty ever reviving;
    And, like Nature, fair art is inexhaustible too.
   Hail, thou honored old man! for both in thy heart thou preservest
    Living sensations, and thus ne'er-ending youth is thy lot!




          THE SUNDAY CHILDREN.

 Years has the master been laboring, but always without satisfaction;
  To an ingenious race 'twould be in vision conferred.
 What they yesterday learned, to-day they fain would be teaching:
  Small compassion, alas, is by those gentlemen shown!




          THE HIGHEST.

   Seerest thou the highest, the greatest!
     In that the plant can instruct thee;
   What it unwittingly is, be thou of thine own free will!




     THE PUPPET-SHOW OF LIFE.

    Thou'rt welcome in my box to peep!
   Life's puppet-show, the world in little,
   Thou'lt see depicted to a tittle,--
    But pray at some small distance keep!
    'Tis by the torch of love alone,
    By Cupid's taper, it is shown.

   See, not a moment void the stage is!
    The child in arms at first they bring,--
   The boy then skips,--the youth now storms and rages,--
    The man contends, and ventures everything!

    Each one attempts success to find,
   Yet narrow is the race-course ever;
   The chariot rolls, the axles quiver,
    The hero presses on, the coward stays behind,
   The proud man falls with mirth-inspiring fall,
   The wise man overtakes them all!

   Thou see'st fair woman it the barrier stand,
   With beauteous hands, with smiling eyes,
   To glad the victor with his prize.




          TO LAWGIVERS.

   Ever take it for granted, that man collectively wishes
    That which is right; but take care never to think so of one!




          FALSE IMPULSE TO STUDY.

   Oh, how many new foes against truth! My very soul bleedeth
    When I behold the owl-race now bursting forth to the light.




   THE HEREDITARY PRINCE OF WEIMAR, ON HIS PROCEEDING TO PARIS.

      (SUNG IN A CIRCLE OF FRIENDS.)

   With one last bumper let us hail
    The wanderer beloved,
   Who takes his leave of this still vale
    Wherein in youth he roved.

   From loving arms, from native home,
    He tears himself away,
   To yonder city proud to roam,
    That makes whole lands its prey.

   Dissension flies, all tempests end,
    And chained is strife abhorred;
   We in the crater may descend
    From whence the lava poured.

   A gracious fate conduct thee through
    Life's wild and mazy track!
   A bosom nature gave thee true,--
    A bosom true bring back!

   Thou'lt visit lands that war's wild train
    Had crushed with careless heed;
   Now smiling peace salutes the plain,
    And strews the golden seed.

   The hoary Father Rhine thou'lt greet,
    Who thy forefather [58] blest
   Will think of, whilst his waters fleet
    In ocean's bed to rest.

   Do homage to the hero's manes,
    And offer to the Rhine,
   The German frontier who maintains,
    His own-created wine,--

   So that thy country's soul thy guide
    May be, when thou hast crossed
   On the frail bark to yonder side,
    Where German faith is lost!




          THE IDEAL OF WOMAN.

             TO AMANDA.

 Woman in everything yields to man; but in that which is highest,
  Even the manliest man yields to the woman most weak.
 But that highest,--what is it? The gentle radiance of triumph
  As in thy brow upon me, beauteous Amanda, it beams.
 When o'er the bright shining disk the clouds of affliction are fleeting,
  Fairer the image appears, seen through the vapor of gold.
 Man may think himself free! thou art so,--for thou never knowest
  What is the meaning of choice,--know'st not necessity's name.
 That which thou givest, thou always givest wholly; but one art thou ever,
  Even thy tenderest sound is thine harmonious self.
 Youth everlasting dwells here, with fulness that never is exhausted,
  And with the flower at once pluckest thou the ripe golden fruit.




        THE FOUNTAIN OF SECOND YOUTH.

 Trust me, 'tis not a mere tale,--the fountain of youth really runneth,
  Runneth forever. Thou ask'st, where? In the poet's sweet art!




        WILLIAM TELL. [59]

   When hostile elements with rage resound,
    And fury blindly fans war's lurid flame,--
   When in the strife of party quarrel drowned,
    The voice of justice no regard can claim,--
   When crime is free, and impious hands are found
    The sacred to pollute, devoid of shame,
   And loose the anchor which the state maintains,--
   No subject there we find for joyous strains.

   But when a nation, that its flocks still feeds
    With calm content, nor other's wealth desires
   Throws off the cruel yoke 'neath which it bleeds,
    Yet, e'en in wrath, humanity admires,--
   And, e'en in triumph, moderation heeds,--
    That is immortal, and our song requires.
   To show thee such an image now is mine;
   Thou knowest it well, for all that's great is thine!




     TO A YOUNG FRIEND DEVOTING HIMSELF TO PHILOSOPHY.

 Severe the proof the Grecian youth was doomed to undergo,
 Before he might what lurks beneath the Eleusinia know--
 Art thou prepared and ripe, the shrine--the inner shrine--to win,
 Where Pallas guards from vulgar eyes the mystic prize within?
 Knowest thou what bars thy way? how dear the bargain thou dost make,
 When but to buy uncertain good, sure good thou dost forsake?
 Feel'st thou sufficient strength to brave the deadliest human fray,
 When heart from reason--sense from thought, shall rend themselves away?
 Sufficient valor, war with doubt, the hydra-shape, to wage;
 And that worst foe within thyself with manly soul engage?
 With eyes that keep their heavenly health--the innocence of youth
 To guard from every falsehood, fair beneath the mask of truth?
 Fly, if thou canst not trust thy heart to guide thee on the way--
 Oh, fly the charmed margin ere th' abyss engulf its prey.
 Round many a step that seeks the light, the shades of midnight close;
 But in the glimmering twilight, see--how safely childhood goes!




          EXPECTATION AND FULFILMENT.

   Into life's ocean the youth with a thousand masts daringly launches;
    Mute, in a boat saved from wreck, enters the gray-beard the port.




          THE COMMON FATE.

See how we hate, how we quarrel, how thought and how feeling divide us!
 But thy locks, friend, like mine, meanwhile are bleachening fast.




          HUMAN ACTION.

   Where the pathway begins, eternity seems to lie open,
    Yet at the narrowest point even the wisest man stops.




        NUPTIAL ODE. [60]

   Fair bride, attended by our blessing,
   Glad Hymen's flowery path 'gin pressing!
    We witnessed with enraptured eye
   The graces of thy soul unfolding,
   Thy youthful charms their beauty moulding
    To blossom for love's ecstasy.
   A happy fate now hovers round thee,
    And friendship yields without a smart
   To that sweet god whose might hath bound thee;--
    He needs must have, he hath thy heart!

   To duties dear, to trouble tender,
   Thy youthful breast must now surrender,
    Thy garland's summons must obey.
   Each toying infantine sensation,
   Each fleeting sport of youth's creation,
    Forevermore hath passed away;
   And Hymen's sacred bond now chaineth
    Where soft and fluttering love was shrined;
   Yet for a heart, where beauty reigneth,
    Of flowers alone that bond is twined.

   The secret that can keep forever
   In verdant links, that naught can sever,
    The bridal garland, wouldst thou find?
   'Tis purity the heart pervading,
   The blossoms of a grace unfading,
    And yet with modest shame combined,
   Which, like the sun's reflection glowing,
    Makes every heart throb blissfully;--
   'Tis looks with mildness overflowing,
    And self-maintaining dignity!




    THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE NEW CENTURY.

   Where will a place of refuge, noble friend,
    For peace and freedom ever open lie!
   The century in tempests had its end,
    The new one now begins with murder's cry.

   Each land-connecting bond is torn away,
    Each ancient custom hastens to decline;
   Not e'en the ocean can war's tumult stay.
    Not e'en the Nile-god, not the hoary Rhine.

   Two mighty nations strive, with hostile power,
    For undivided mastery of the world;
   And, by them, each land's freedom to devour,
    The trident brandished is--the lightning hurled.

   Each country must to them its gold afford,
    And, Brennus-like, upon the fatal day,
   The Frank now throws his heavy iron sword,
    The even scales of justice to o'erweigh.

   His merchant-fleets the Briton greedily
    Extends, like polyp-limbs, on every side;
   And the domain of Amphitrite free
    As if his home it were, would fain bestride.

   E'en to the south pole's dim, remotest star,
    His restless course moves onward, unrestrained;
   Each isle he tracks,--each coast, however far,
    But paradise alone he ne'er has gained!

   Although thine eye may every map explore,
    Vainly thou'lt seek to find that blissful place,
   Where freedom's garden smiles for evermore,
    And where in youth still blooms the human race.

   Before thy gaze the world extended lies,
    The very shipping it can scarce embrace;
   And yet upon her back, of boundless size,
    E'en for ten happy men there is not space!

   Into thy bosom's holy, silent cells,
    Thou needs must fly from life's tumultuous throng!
   Freedom but in the realm of vision dwells,
    And beauty bears no blossoms but in song.




          GRECIAN GENIUS.

          TO MEYER IN ITALY.

Speechless to thousands of others, who with deaf hearts would consult him,
 Talketh the spirit to thee, who art his kinsman and friend.




          THE FATHER.

   Work as much as thou wilt, alone thou'lt be standing forever,
    Till by nature thou'rt joined forcibly on to the whole.




          THE CONNECTING MEDIUM.

   How does nature proceed to unite the high and the lowly
    In mankind? She commands vanity 'tween them to stand!




          THE MOMENT.

   Doubtless an epoch important has with the century risen;
    But the moment so great finds but a race of small worth.




          GERMAN COMEDY.

   Fools we may have in plenty, and simpletons, too, by the dozen;
    But for comedy these never make use of themselves.




        FAREWELL TO THE READER.

   A maiden blush o'er every feature straying,
    The Muse her gentle harp now lays down here,
   And stands before thee, for thy judgment praying,--
    She waits with reverence, but not with fear;
   Her last farewell for his kind smile delaying.
    Whom splendor dazzles not who holds truth dear.
   The hand of him alone whose soaring spirit
   Worships the beautiful, can crown her merit.

   These simple lays are only heard resounding,
    While feeling hearts are gladdened by their tone,
   With brighter phantasies their path surrounding,
    To nobler aims their footsteps guiding on.
   Yet coming ages ne'er will hear them sounding,
    They live but for the present hour alone;
   The passing moment called them into being,
   And, as the hours dance on, they, too, are fleeing.

   The spring returns, and nature then awaking,
    Bursts into life across the smiling plain;
   Each shrub its perfume through the air is shaking,
    And heaven is filled with one sweet choral strain;
   While young and old, their secret haunts forsaking,
    With raptured eye and ear rejoice again.
   The spring then flies,--to seed return the flowers.
   And naught remains to mark the vanished hours.






DEDICATION TO DEATH, MY PRINCIPAL.


Most high and mighty Czar of all flesh, ceaseless reducer of empires,
unfathomable glutton in the whole realms of nature.

With the most profound flesh-creeping I take the liberty of kissing the
rattling leg-bones of your voracious Majesty, and humbly laying this
little book at your dried-up feet. My predecessors have always been
accustomed, as if on purpose to annoy you, to transport their goods and
chattels to the archives of eternity, directly under your nose,
forgetting that, by so doing, they only made your mouth water the more,
for the proverb--Stolen bread tastes sweetest--is applicable even to you.
No! I prefer to dedicate this work to you, feeling assured that you will
throw it aside.

But, joking apart! methinks we two know each other better than by mere
hearsay. Enrolled in the order of Aesculapius, the first-born of
Pandora's box, as old as the fall of man, I have stood at your altar,--
have sworn undying hatred to your hereditary foe, Nature, as the son of
Hamilcar to the seven hills of Rome,--have sworn to besiege her with a
whole army of medicines,--to throw up barricades round the obstinate
soul,--to drive from the field the insolents who cut down your fees and
cripple your finances,--and on the Archaean battle-plain to plant your
midnight standard. In return (for one good turn deserves another), you
must prepare for me the precious TALISMAN, which can save me from the
gallows and the wheel uninjured, and with a whole skin--

     Jusque datum sceleri.

Come then! act the generous Maecenas; for observe, I should be sorry to
fare like my foolhardy colleagues and cousins, who, armed with stiletto
and pocket-pistol, hold their court in gloomy ravines, or mix in the
subterranean laboratory the wondrous polychrest, which, when taken with
proper zeal, tickles our political noses, either too little or too much,
with throne vacancies or state-fevers. D'Amiens and Ravaillac!--Ho, ho,
ho!--'Tis a good thing for straight limbs!

Perhaps you have been whetting your teeth at Easter and Michaelmas?--the
great book-epidemic times at Leipzig and Frankfort! Hurrah for the
waste-paper!--'twill make a royal feast. Your nimble brokers, Gluttony
and Lust, bring you whole cargoes from the fair of life. Even Ambition,
your grandpapa--War, Famine, Fire, and Plague, your mighty huntsmen, have
provided you with many a jovial man-chase. Avarice and Covetousness,
your sturdy butlers, drink to your health whole towns floating in the
bubbling cup of the world-ocean. I know a kitchen in Europe where the
rarest dishes have been served up in your honor with festive pomp. And
yet--who has ever known you to be satisfied, or to complain of
indigestion? Your digestive faculties are of iron; your entrails
fathomless!

Pooh--I had many other things to say to you, but I am in a hurry to be
off. You are an ugly brother-in-law--go! I hear you are calculating on
living to see a general collation, where great and small, globes and
lexicons, philosophies and knick-knacks, will fly into your jaws--a good
appetite to you, should it come to that.--Yet, ravenous wolf that you
are! take care that you don't overeat yourself, and have to disgorge to a
hair all that you have swallowed, as a certain Athenian (no particular
friend of yours, by-the-by) has prophesied.




PREFACE.


TOBOLSKO, 2d February.

   Tum primum radiis gelidi incaluere Triones.

Flowers in Siberia? Behind this lies a piece of knavery, or the sun must
make face against midnight. And yet--if ye were to exert yourselves!
'Tis really so; we have been hunting sables long enough; let us for once
in a way try our luck with flowers. Have not enough Europeans come to us
stepsons of the sun, and waded through our hundred years' snow, to pluck
a modest flower? Shame upon our ancestors--we'll gather them ourselves,
and frank a whole basketful to Europe. Do not crush them, ye children of
a milder heaven!

But to be serious; to remove the iron weight of prejudice that broods
heavily over the north, requires a stronger lever than the enthusiasm of
a few individuals, and a firmer Hypomochlion than the shoulders of two or
three patriots. Yet if this anthology reconciles you squeamish Europeans
to us snow-men as little as--let's suppose the case--our "Muses'
Almanac," [61] which we--let's again suppose the case--might have
written, it will at least have the merit of helping its companions
through the whole of Germany to give the last neck-stab to expiring
taste, as we people of Tobolsko like to word it.

If your Homers talk in their sleep, and your Herculeses kill flies with
their clubs--if every one who knows how to give vent to his portion of
sorrow in dreary Alexandrines, interprets that as a call to Helicon,
shall we northerns be blamed for tinkling the Muses' lyre?--Your matadors
claim to have coined silver when they have stamped their effigy on
wretched pewter; and at Tobolsko coiners are hanged. 'Tis true that you
may often find paper-money amongst us instead of Russian roubles, but war
and hard times are an excuse for anything.

Go forth then, Siberian anthology! Go! Thou wilt make many a coxcomb
happy, wilt be placed by him on the toilet-table of his sweetheart, and
in reward wilt obtain her alabaster, lily-white hand for his tender kiss.
Go! thou wilt fill up many a weary gulf of ennui in assemblies and
city-visits, and may be relieve a Circassienne, who has confessed herself
weary amidst a shower of calumnies. Go! thou wilt be consulted in the
kitchens of many critics; they will fly thy light, and like the
screech-owl, retreat into thy shadow. Ho, ho, ho! Already I hear the
ear-cracking howls in the inhospitable forest, and anxiously conceal
myself in my sable.





FOOTNOTES:

[14]  In Schiller the eight long lines that conclude each stanza of
this charming love-poem, instead of rhyming alternately as in the
translation, chime somewhat to the tune of Byron's Don Juan--six lines
rhyming with each other, and the two last forming a separate couplet.
In other respects the translation, it is hoped, is sufficiently close
and literal.

[15]  The peach.

[16]  Sung in "The Parasite," a comedy which Schiller translated from
Picard--much the best comedy, by the way, that Picard ever wrote.

[17]  The idea diffused by the translator through this and the preceding
stanza is more forcibly condensed by Schiller in four lines.

[18]  "And ere a man hath power to say, 'behold,'
      The jaws of Darkness do devour it up,
      So quick bright things come to confusion."--
                                            SHAKESPEARE.

[19]  The three following ballads, in which Switzerland is the scene,
betray their origin in Schiller's studies for the drama of William Tell.

[20] The avalanche--the equivoque of the original, turning on the Swiss
word Lawine, it is impossible to render intelligible to the English
reader.  The giants in the preceding line are the rocks that overhang the
pass which winds now to the right, now to the left, of a roaring stream.

[21]  The Devil's Bridge.  The Land of Delight (called in Tell "a serene
valley of joy") to which the dreary portal (in Tell the black rock gate)
leads, is the Urse Vale. The four rivers, in the next stanza, are the
Reus, the Rhine, the Tessin, and the Rhone.

[22]  The everlasting glacier.  See William Tell, act v, scene 2.

[23]  This has been paraphrased by Coleridge.

[24]  Ajax the Less.

[25]  Ulysses.

[26]  Achilles.

[27]  Diomed.

[28]  Cassandra.

[29]  It may be scarcely necessary to treat, however briefly, of the
mythological legend on which this exquisite elegy is founded; yet we
venture to do so rather than that the forgetfulness of the reader should
militate against his enjoyment of the poem.  Proserpine, according to the
Homeride (for the story is not without variations), when gathering
flowers with the Ocean-Nymphs, is carried off by Aidoneus, or Pluto. Her
mother, Ceres, wanders over the earth for her in vain, and refuses to
return to heaven till her daughter is restored to her.  Finally, Jupiter
commissions Hermes to persuade Pluto to render up his bride, who rejoins
Ceres at Eleusis.  Unfortunately she has swallowed a pomegranate seed in
the Shades below, and is thus mysteriously doomed to spend one-third of
the year with her husband in Hades, though for the remainder of the year
she is permitted to dwell with Ceres and the gods.  This is one of the
very few mythological fables of Greece which can be safely interpreted
into an allegory.  Proserpine denotes the seed-corn one-third of the year
below the earth; two-thirds (that is, dating from the appearance of the
ear) above it. Schiller has treated this story with admirable and
artistic beauty; and, by an alteration in its symbolical character has
preserved the pathos of the external narrative, and heightened the beauty
of the interior meaning--associating the productive principle of the
earth with the immortality of the soul.  Proserpine here is not the
symbol of the buried seed, but the buried seed is the symbol of her--that
is, of the dead.  The exquisite feeling of this poem consoled Schiller's
friend, Sophia La Roche, in her grief for her son's death.
[30]  What a beautiful vindication of the shortness of human life!

[31]  The corn-flower.

[32]  For this story, see Herodotus, book iii, sections 40-43.

[33]  President of Council of Five Hundred.

[34]  We have already seen in "The Ring of Polycrates," Schiller's mode
of dealing with classical subjects.  In the poems that follow, derived
from similar sources, the same spirit is maintained.  In spite of
Humboldt, we venture to think that Schiller certainly does not narrate
Greek legends in the spirit of an ancient Greek.  The Gothic sentiment,
in its ethical depth and mournful tenderness, more or less pervades all
that he translates from classic fable into modern pathos.  The grief of
Hero in the ballad subjoined, touches closely on the lamentations of
Thekla, in "Wallenstein."  The Complaint of Ceres, embodies Christian
grief and Christian hope.  The Trojan Cassandra expresses the moral of
the Northern Faust.  Even the "Victory Feast" changes the whole spirit of
Homer, on whom it is founded, by the introduction of the ethical
sentiment at the close, borrowed, as a modern would apply what he so
borrows from the moralizing Horace.  Nothing can be more foreign to the
Hellenic genius, (if we except the very disputable intention of the
"Prometheus"), than the interior and typical design which usually exalts
every conception in Schiller.  But it is perfectly open to the modern
poet to treat of ancient legends in the modern spirit. Though he selects
a Greek story, he is still a modern who narrates--he can never make
himself a Greek any more than Aeschylus in the "Persae" could make
himself a Persian. But this is still more the privilege of the poet in
narrative, or lyrical composition, than in the drama, for in the former
he does not abandon his identity, as in the latter he must--yet even this
must has its limits. Shakspeare's wonderful power of self-transfusion has
no doubt enabled him, in his plays from Roman history, to animate his
characters with much of Roman life. But no one can maintain that a Roman
would ever have written plays in the least resembling "Julius Caesar," or
"Coriolanus," or "Antony and Cleopatra."  The portraits may be Roman, but
they are painted in the manner of the Gothic school. The spirit of
antiquity is only in them, inasmuch as the representation of human
nature, under certain circumstances, is accurately, though loosely
outlined. When the poet raises the dead, it is not to restore, but to
remodel.

[35]  This notes the time of year--not the time of day--viz., about the
23d of September.--HOFFMEISTER.

[36]  Hecate as the mysterious goddess of Nature.--HOFFMEISTER.

[37]  This story, the heroes of which are more properly known to us under
the names of Damon and Pythias (or Phintias), Schiller took from Hyginus
in whom the friends are called Moerus and Selinuntius.  Schiller has
somewhat amplified the incidents in the original, in which the delay of
Moerus is occasioned only by the swollen stream--the other hindrances are
of Schiller's invention.  The subject, like "The Ring of Polycrates,"
does not admit of that rich poetry of description with which our author
usually adorns some single passage in his narratives.  The poetic spirit
is rather shown in the terse brevity with which picture after picture is
not only sketched but finished--and in the great thought at the close.
Still it is not one of Schiller's best ballads.  His additions to the
original story are not happy.  The incident of the robbers is commonplace
and poor.  The delay occasioned by the thirst of Moerus is clearly open
to Goethe's objection (an objection showing very nice perception of
nature)--that extreme thirst was not likely to happen to a man who had
lately passed through a stream on a rainy day, and whose clothes must
have been saturated with moisture--nor in the traveller's preoccupied
state of mind, is it probable that he would have so much felt the mere
physical want.  With less reason has it been urged by other critics, that
the sudden relenting of the tyrant is contrary to his character.  The
tyrant here has no individual character at all.  He is the mere
personation of disbelief in truth and love--which the spectacle of
sublime self-abnegation at once converts.  In this idea lies the deep
philosophical truth, which redeems all the defects of the piece--for
poetry, in its highest form, is merely this--"Truth made beautiful."

[38]  The somewhat irregular metre of the original has been preserved
in this ballad, as in other poems; although the perfect anapaestic metre
is perhaps more familiar to the English ear.

[39]  "Die Gestalt"--Form, the Platonic Archetype.

[40]  More literally translated thus by the author of the article on
Schiller in the Foreign and Colonial Review, July, 1843--

     "Thence all witnesses forever banished
     Of poor human nakedness."

[41]  The law, i. e., the Kantian ideal of truth and virtue.  This stanza
and the next embody, perhaps with some exaggeration, the Kantian doctrine
of morality.

[42]  "But in God's sight submission is command."  "Jonah," by the Rev.
F. Hodgson.  Quoted in Foreign and Colonial Review, July, 1843: Art.
Schiller, p. 21.

[43]  It seems generally agreed that poetry is allegorized in these
stanzas; though, with this interpretation, it is difficult to
reconcile the sense of some of the lines--for instance, the last in
the first stanza.  How can poetry be said to leave no trace when she
takes farewell?

[44]  "I call the living--I mourn the dead--I break the lightning."
These words are inscribed on the great bell of the Minster of
Schaffhausen--also on that of the Church of Art near Lucerne. There was
an old belief in Switzerland that the undulation of air caused by the
sound of a bell, broke the electric fluid of a thunder-cloud.

[45]  A piece of clay pipe, which becomes vitrified if the metal is
sufficiently heated.

[46]  The translator adheres to the original, in forsaking the rhyme in
these lines and some others.

[47]  Written in the time of the French war.

[48]  Literally, "the manners."  The French word moeurs corresponds best
with the German.

[49]  The epithet in the first edition is ruhmlose.

[50]  For this interesting story, see Cox's "House of Austria," vol i,
pp. 87-98 (Bohn's Standard Library).

[51]  See "Piccolomini," act ii., scene 6; and "The Death of
Wallenstein," act v., scene 3.

[52]  This poem is very characteristic of the noble ease with which
Schiller often loves to surprise the reader, by the sudden introduction
of matter for the loftiest reflection in the midst of the most familiar
subjects.  What can be more accurate and happy than the poet's description
of the national dance, as if such description were his only object--the
outpouring, as it were, of a young gallant intoxicated by the music, and
dizzy with the waltz?  Suddenly and imperceptibly the reader finds himself
elevated from a trivial scene.  He is borne upward to the harmony of the
sphere.  He bows before the great law of the universe--the young gallant
is transformed into the mighty teacher; and this without one hard conceit
--without one touch of pedantry.  It is but a flash of light; and where
glowed the playful picture shines the solemn moral.

[53]  The first five verses in the original of this poem are placed as
a motto on Goethe's statue in the Library at Weimar.  The poet does not
here mean to extol what is vulgarly meant by the gifts of fortune; he
but develops a favorite idea of his, that, whatever is really sublime
and beautiful, comes freely down from heaven; and vindicates the seeming
partiality of the gods, by implying that the beauty and the genius given,
without labor, to some, but serve to the delight of those to whom they are
denied.

[54]  Achilles.

[55]  "Nur ein Wunder kann dich tragen
      In das schoene Wunderland."--SCHILLER, Sehnsucht.

[56]  This simile is nobly conceived, but expressed somewhat obscurely.
As Hercules contended in vain against Antaeus, the Son of Earth--so long
as the earth gave her giant offspring new strength in every fall,--so
the soul contends in vain with evil--the natural earth-born enemy, while
the very contact of the earth invigorates the enemy for the struggle.
And as Antaeus was slain at last, when Hercules lifted him from the earth,
and strangled him while raised aloft, so can the soul slay the enemy (the
desire, the passion, the evil, the earth's offspring), when bearing it
from earth itself, and stifling it in the higher air.

[57]  By this Schiller informs us elsewhere that he does not mean death
alone; but that the thought applies equally to every period of life when
we can divest ourselves of the body and perceive or act as pure spirits;
we are truly then under the influence of the sublime.

[58]  Duke Bernard of Weimar, one of the heroes of the Thirty Years' war.

[59]  These verses were sent by Schiller to the then Electoral High
Chancellor, with a copy of his "William Tell."

[60]  Addressed in the original to Mdlle. Slevoigt, on her marriage to
Dr. Sturm.

[61]  This was the title of the publication in which many of the finest
of Schiller's "Poems of the Third Period" originally appeared.






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